Rudbaxton, St Michael's Church
Rudbaxton, St Michael's Church
An early 13th century church with a 17th century Howard monument that covers the entire east wall of the south aisle.
Though the church is dedicated to St Michael, that's really a Norman sleight-of-hand; the original dedication was to St Madoc, whose holy well stood inside the churchyard. The most striking part of the church exterior is the west tower, limewashed in white.

Much of the current building is 14th-15th century, with a 15th century porch and slightly later south aisle. There is a rectangular 12th century font set upon a round base.

The real reason to visit St Michael's must be the extraordinary Howard (alternatively spelled Hayward) family memorials in the south aisle. The memorial fills up the entire east wall of the aisle, and is composed of three arched recesses, each housing full length carved figures, painted and carrying skulls. On the left is George Hayward (d 1665), in the centre are James (d 1668) and Joanna Howard, an on the right are Thomas (d 1682) and Mary Howard (d 1685). The detail is wonderful, the effect overwhelming.

Other notable memorials include that of General Sir Thomas Picton, who died at Waterloo and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, and a grave slab in the chancel floor to Jane Hayward (d 1699).

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