History - overview

St Michael's church dates back to 1189.  The first building was probably made of wood, but a 13th century building still exists in the form of the Lady Chapel.  The nave, chancel and aisles were reconstructed and extended in 1854-55.  A new ring of six bells was cast in 1723, and the tower was rebuilt in 1731.  In 1993 a large extension was added on the north side.  During 2008-14 there have been major renovations of the church interior, and the roof has been re-tiled.

The original parish of Tilehurst covered a very large area - from Reading West railway station all the way out to Calcot and Theale.  During the 19th and 20th centuries, when the population increased considerably, several daughter churches were built, and these were then turned into separate parishes.

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Many people have contributed to the details in this documentary record of our much-loved parish church.

On 18th September 2021, St Michael's hosted a Tilehurst Heritage Day - with displays of photographs, pictures, documents and artefacts, with several talks, and with tours of the building.  One of the talks - on the history of St Michael's Church - is reproduced on this page.  Click here to open / download the document (PDF file, 7 pages, 434 KB), or you can scroll through it as displayed below.