STOKE ST MARY AND DISTRICT HISTORY GROUP

ST MICHAEL’S CHURCH, ORCHARD PORTMAN

Late medieval stained glass, upper lights of window set in north wall, showing 4 evangelists; late C19 and early C20 stained glass including east window and Portman chapel window both signed by Arthur J Dix and dated 1911 and 1910 respectively.

The windows are mostly of the Perpendicular date; but some are later.  The Eastern is of painted glass and represents scenes in the life of our Saviour.  E Jeboult



Ribbed wagon roof to chancel plastered barrel vault with moulded wall plates, shallow pitched moulded compartment ceiling to Portman chapel dated 1910.

Restored Norman doorway on north front, chevron moulding. Circular font in porch. Portman chapel pannelled with wrought-iron sconces and brass plaque with details of members of the family buried in the vault below nave.

The tower is embattled.  It has a peal of four bells. E Jeboult

[Louvred bell-openings]

The church is an ancient edifice, dedicated to St Michael, and consists of nave, porch and chancel.  It is principally built of stone, in the Perpendicualr style of architecture, and is considered to have been built (or considerably altered) in or about the fifteenth century. Edward Jeboult


Norman, chancel rebuilt early 15th century,  Portman chapel erected as south aisle c1450, tower rebuilt c1540. Roughcast over lias, slate roof, coped verges. Plan: chancel, north east vestry and organ bay, 3-bay nave, south chapel, north porch now blocked, entrance via west tower.



The font is very plain and heavy,  it appears very ancient and deserves particular notice.  E Jeboult



There is one brass, to the memory of Humphrey Coles, a well-known man in the district in the 17th century.  E Jeboult




The earlier Portman chapel was demolished at the same time as Orchard Portman House which stood north-west of the church,

There was formerly a South aisle to the church, which contained Perpendicualr windows.  It was removed about twenty years ago. E Jeboult


Portman chapel demolished 1844 and rebuilt 1910 when south porch resited as north porch, vestry and organ bay added.


'Here lies Humphrey Coles who, on the third day of May in the year of Our Lord 1662 fought stoutly against the Moors of Tangier in the field of Tangier. He died on 26th(?) day of January 1693 aged 73' •


Humphrey Coles was agent and friend of the Portman family and is thought to have lived at what is now Orchard Portman School. One of the many who have fought stoutly for a lost cause.