Any visitor to Upton Cressett must stop by the beautiful Grade 1 Norman Church of St Michael, which has stood beside the Hall since the 11th century. It’s simple architecture and fine Chancel Arch and Norman font has been acclaimed by the likes of John Betjeman and Nickolaus Pevsner. Today the church is maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust and is open every day of the year with free entry. The church was selected as one of only four Anglo-Saxon or Norman churches in the country to be included in a book by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) celebrating the most Beautiful English Churches, with a foreword by HRH Prince of Wales.
St Michael’s was also voted one of the top 20 churches in the country by the members of the Churches Conservation Trust. The church contains an exquisite early Norman font that was mysteriously removed to Gordonstoun in the 1960s’s when the young Prince of Wales was a boy at the school.
According to the late Ivor Bulmer Thomas, founder of the Redundant Churches Fund, who authorised the move of the font to Gordonstoun in the 1960s (when the church was closed and the font removed for safe storage), the reason was because senior ecclesiastical and royal figures wished for the future king to be surrounded by some objects of ‘ancient English beauty’ during his schooldays. It was returned to Upton Cressett in the early 1970s. St Michael’s famous 16th century ‘Cressett Brass’ has been returned to the church in 2015 after more than 40 years hanging at Monkhopton church.