St. Michael's is a Norman church dating from
It has a chancel, nave, tower, south aisle
and a north porch. The legend in the village is that the church was
built with stone from Bolsover and Sherwood Forest that was intended
for the building of the much larger church, Southwell Minster, just
two miles further along the road. The story goes that the carts carrying
the stone would rest at the bottom of the steep hill out of Halam
before attempting the climb up to Southwell, and while the carters
were taking "refreshments" at the local ale house, Halam villagers
'relieved' the carts of enough stone to build their own church.
The tower is massive, somewhat squat and two
storeys high. It may have originally been intended to have a third
storey - the size of the base certainly suggests so. Its pyramidal
roof is a restoration but is probably typical of those on Norman towers
of this sort. There is a tall pinnacle and a large grotesque waterspout
gargoyle at each of its top corners. The west door into the tower
has a pointed arch with a carved head on each capital, one male and
one female. On the first floor is the belfry with three narrow two-light
openings; the one on the front of the church is bricked up and covered
by the large clock face.
A peculiarity of Halam church is that rather
than being aligned along an East-West axis, it actually lies on South
East-North West line. This may be due to an error of the original
builders, a local idiosyncrasy or because it was aligned with an earlier,
probably pagan building.
The south side has an aisle which was rebuilt
during extensive Victorian 'restoration' of the church in 1884 with
an Early English gothic style pointed-headed west window and three
square-headed windows with stone tracery. At this time, the original
south porch was demolished and the present north porch was added.
There are five square-headed windows in the
chancel, each having a pair of delightful head carvings as the ends
of the hood-mould or dripstone.
The is a fourteenth century 'leper window'
in the north wall of the chancel, now built up on the inside and visible
only from the outside. It is said that this window once had a pair
of oak shutters that opened inwards and allowed wandering outcast
lepers to see through the low window and take part in the services