St Michael the Archangel’s
Church & Bells
St Michael’s is the Parish church and the oldest building in Aldershot.
St Michael's once was the centre of Aldershot Village. It was on the Pilgrim's Way and was frequented by King John Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, and King Charles II. The surrounding land was farmed by monks from nearby Waverly Abbey.
The land on which St. Michael's now stands was personally owned by Alfred the Great and when he died he left the land to the monks of Winchester.
It is likely that the Church was originally built between 1120 and 1150 - there are signs of the middle ages around the Church and the oldest bell has been rung since 1380. During the reign of Elizabeth I the tower was rebuilt and formed part of the beacon chain to warn against the coming of the Spanish.
In 1645 Royalist troops invaded the village and set fire to the houses but the Church was spared the fires and survived. The clock was installed in 1799 and in 1801 a body snatching scare led to the construction of the distinctive brick-arched graves in the churchyard.
By 1859 the relocation of the British Army to the Aldershot Camp swelled the population from 875 to 16,000 and the Church was extended and further extended to its present size in 1911.
The Parish Church of Aldershot dates from the twelfth century,
the brick tower being added about 1600, originally with 3 bells.
They were rehung and augmented to 6 in 1911
with the 2 trebles added in 1920 to complete the octave.
These last 2 bells were dedicated to the Fallen of World War I.
In 1961 the bells were recast and rehung with new fittings.
In 2016 the bells were overhauled by Taylors Bell Foundry.
The heaviest bell of the eight, known as the tenor, weighs 8 1/2 cwt (452 Kg),
and the lightest known as the treble, 2 3/4 cwt (154 Kg)