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St. Michael Stinsford  

The church is essentially C13, although the tower is C14, the north arcade 1630 and the building was altered several times by the Victorians, who removed the musicians' gallery and box pews.  A barrel organ was then installed and the church band abolished, much to the disgust of the Hardy family, who had provided many of the musicians.  The nave had a C16 barrel roof, which did not survive the Victorians, but the timbers remain.  The excellent chancel arch is worthy of close attention because of the rich deep mouldings and on the southern side a hagioscope and recess, which used to house a stairway to the rood screen.The most informative church guide quotes Thomas Hardy, "If an organ be really required I should say, speaking for myself alone, that the old west gallery should be re-erected for it..."  These words proved to be remarkable because in 1996 a new gallery and organ were installed as a result of the generosity of Richard Purdy of Yale University, who endowed the church and churchyard in commemoration of Florence Hardy.  The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©



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