Church of St Michael-le-Rupe
|Church of St Michael-le-Rupe|
St Michael-le-Rupe on Brent Tor
|Church of England|
|Diocese of Exeter|
The Church of St Michel de Rupe stands at the summit of Brent Tor, a prominent, rugged hill on the west of Dartmoor in Devon. It ensures that the tor is clearly visible from across much of the moor. The name of the church means "Saint Michael of the Rock".
The church is remarkable for its position: it can only be reached by a climb up the tor. It is nevertheless popular for local weddings, and brides can be seen scaling the rough granite in wedding dresses and wellington boots.
The church has a capacity of approximately forty people. There is a newer, 19th century church in the village, Christ Church, which is used for many services. However St Michael's is still used on Christmas Day, Easter Day and for Evensong during the summer.
At one point, the Church may have been used as a beacon tower, used to spread word of enemies seen out to sea and one of a chain of beacons lit at the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Local legend insists that the church was to be built at the bottom of the tor, but the Devil opposed its construction and would move the construction to the top of the hill each night to stop it. Undissuaded, the builders continued with its construction in defiance.
In 1995 the Church was struck by lightning, which caused extensive damage, but this has since been repaired.
There are many legends surrounding Brent Tor and its church.
One of the best-known of local legends insists that the church was to be built at the bottom of the tor, but the Devil opposed its construction and would move the construction to the top of the hill each night to stop it. Undissuaded, the builders continued with its construction in defiance.
The churchyard was used as a location in filming the ITV version of Jamaica Inn.
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