St. Michael de Rupe, Brent Tor, Tavistock
In a prominent location on the summit of a steep sided natural rock clearly visible from the main road between Tavistock and Lydford, this tiny church was founded by the monks of Tavistock Abbey. It is surrounded by the earth ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort. Its outline is distinctive and can be recognised from a great distance in every direction. Its appearance arouses people’s curiosity and they are drawn up the rock to take a closer look. It is a ‘thin’ place where heaven can be felt. Although the interior is plain and simple it is always open and provides a welcome and shelter from the weather. The sanctuary is kept for quiet prayer or contemplation. It provides a quiet resting place for those seeking tranquillity in the midst of God’s creation. The view is outstanding in all directions of Dartmoor, the Tamar Valley down to Plymouth Sound, Bodmin Moor and Mid Devon.
The church is largely 13th century and the tower was added in the 15th century. The interior is simple with a 15th century octagonal font. There are only two narrow lancet windows to north and south and an east window of three lights which depicts the Archangel Michael with his scales by James Paterson 1971. It is lit by solar powered lights and is open to visitors daily.
Standard opening times: This church is always open. Services of Evening Prayer are held at 6 pm alternating with BCP Evensong every Sunday between Easter and the end of September. There are also occasional services for Festivals (i.e. Easter, Harvest, Christmas and Epiphany). There is a book for Prayer requests from visitors which are offered during Intercessions at weekly services or at Christ Church during the winter months.
Brent Tor, Devon, PL19 0NP, United Kingdom
By car: Leave Tavistock on the Brentor Road leading to Lydford. After approximately 5 and a half miles turn left at signpost to Brentor Church. At T junction turn right and 200 yards to the Car Park on the right.
By public transport: There is no public transport link currently available. The No.118 DARTLINE service stops in North Brentor.
On foot: Cross the main road and walk through the gate and follow path to the top of the hill. Granite steps lead up to the churchyard gate. On Route 27 cycle route which is largely off-road.
Access can be challenging for all visitors – particularly in adverse weather conditions. For this reason, services may occasionally have to be cancelled and be held instead at Christ Church in the village. A four wheel drive vehicle can be provided by prior arrangement with the hospitaller to transport elderly or infirm visitors up to the Church steps. There is an uneven grassed churchyard which is not suitable for access by the disabled.
Public Toilets are available next to the Car Park. Cycles can be secured to the inside of the fence.
Refreshments - bottles of water and packets of biscuits (provided free of charge by the Hospitaller) are freely available on the bench in the tower archway next to the font.
Self-catering and Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available in the immediate locality and in the surrounding area.
Hospitaller availability: The Hospitaller visits the church at least once each week. He is prepared to make arrangements to welcome visitors between 10 am and 4 pm on weekdays.
Hospitaller's contact details below. Also second contact person: David Harris, Stablelights, Brentor PL19 0LX. Tel. 01822 810845 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01822 810286