St Michael’s Church, Discoed
A short detour off the Offa’s Dyke Path brings walkers to this church and its ancient yew tree, thought to be c.5,000 years old
Parts of the church date from the medieval period. Discoed is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, but there is no specific mention of a church here. A chapel at Discoed is mentioned in a document from 1291. However, the presence of the ancient yew tree and a spring point to this site having some religious or ritual function before that, and perhaps before Christianity.
In medieval times the church at Discoed was a chapel of ease (a subsidiary to the main church) in Presteigne parish. The parish was controlled by Wigmore Abbey, west of Ludlow. A silver chalice was bought for St Michael’s in 1576 and remains in use. The church bell dates from 1675 and is inscribed with: “God save the King.”
A pitch pipe – a simple device to sound a starting note for singers – from c.1840 still exists. The curate of that time gave it to the church because there was no organ. In 1828 parishioners hired a singer to lead the psalms during services.
The church was extensively rebuilt in 1869, when the distinctive bell tower with its pyramidal roof was added. The works cost more than £500.
Today the church remains a daughter of St Andrew’s Church in Presteigne. Although it is in Wales, it is part of the Church of England’s Hereford diocese. The Friends of St Michael’s has raised funds to repair and modernise the church, including installing central heating. This has made the church a suitable venue for art exhibitions, concerts and other events as well as regular services.
Postcode: LD8 2NW