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Britain Express Devon Travel Guide - Attractions - Princetown, St Michael's Church
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Home > England > Devon > Historic Churches > Princetown, St Michael's Church

Princetown, St Michael's Church

History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation


HERITAGE RATING: Heritage Rating  ?

Princetown, St Michael's Church
Princetown, St Michael's Church

The parish church of St Michael and All Angels in Princetown holds the dubious distinction of being the only church in England to be built by prisoners of war (see also the Italian Chapel in Orkney, built by Italian POWs during WWII).

The church was built between 1810-1814 using prisoners from the American and French campaigns being held at nearby Dartmoor Prison. French Napoleonic War prisoners began the building, which was finished by American POWs. When the last POW left Dartmoor Prison in 1816 the church was closed. In 1831 it was reopened and re-consecrated. It remained in service until 1992. St Michael's is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, and is no longer used for regular worhip.

The building is extremely plain, built of local granite, with a pinnacled three-storey west tower. A stained glass window at the east end was installed in 1910 to commemorate the role of American prisoners in building the church. In the churchyard are gravestones of prisoners.

About Princetown, St Michael's Church
Address: Princetown, Devon, England, PL20 6RE
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Website: Princetown, St Michael's Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Location map
OS: SX587736
Photo Credit: Tom Jolliffe, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

Merrivale Prehistoric Site - 2 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Garden House - 6.8 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Buckland Abbey - 7.5 miles (Historic House) Heritage Rating

Church House - 8.3 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Grimspound - 8.3 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Lydford Gorge - 8.4 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Lydford Castle - 8.4 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

Brentor - 8.4 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

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    Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')

High Moorland Visitor Centre
Duchy Building
Tavistock Road
PL20 6QF
Tel: 01822 890 414
Fax: 01626 836 001
Email: hmvc@dartmoor-npa.gov.uk
Web: http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk

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