Unveiling of a heritage interpretation panel at old St Michael’s Church, Myland

PUBLISHED: 8 August 2023

A new heritage interpretation panel has been unveiled at the site of the medieval church of St Michael’s in Myland, Colchester. Located at Rectory Close, the panel explains the significance of the church, which is oldest known building in Myland.

A church is first mentioned on this site in 1254. St Michael’s was never wealthy and was damaged during the Civil War Siege of Colchester in 1648. As a result, it was rebuilt using stone from the original church. Further alterations occurred in about 1700 when a wooden bell tower was added.

In 1851 the parish began to raise the money for a new St Michael’s, about half a mile north of the old church site, which eventually opened on 18 May 1855. Stone from the old church was used to build a school next to the new St Michael’s. As a result, only the foundations of the old church can now be seen following excavations by the Colchester Archaeological Group in 1975.

This is part of an ongoing project to improve the public’s access to the rich and diverse heritage of Colchester by installing interpretation panels at key locations. To date over 40 have been installed, including around the complete circuit of the Roman Wall, and at Gosbecks Archaeological Park, St Botolph’s Priory and the Roman Circus.

The panel at old St Michael’s Church was funded by Myland Community Council and erected by the museum service of Colchester City Council. It was unveiled by Rev. Ray Gibbs from St Michael’s in the presence of invited guests.

Pictured above, 
L to R: Rev Ray Gibbs, Cllr Pete Hewitt, Cllr Michelle Burrows and Philip Wise, Heritage Manager CCC.

Cllr Michelle Burrows Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “It was exciting to be present at the unveiling of the latest addition to Colchester’s heritage interpretation panels, particularly in this year of celebration for city status. I would urge everyone to explore this little known piece of Colchester’s history for themselves.”

Cllr Pete Hewitt, Myland Community Council, said: “This interpretation panel is part of Myland Community Council’s aim to share the history of Myland (or Mile End) with our community and the wider population. The original St Michael’s Church stood here from the 13th century until the mid-19th century when it was replaced by the attractive church enjoyed today. It has been a pleasure to work closely with the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service in the funding and design process.”

Page last reviewed: 8 August 2023


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