St Margaret’s, with its round tower and thatched roof, is a church from another time, standing in an isolated setting, as if still in its 12th-century Norman world. The magnificent carved doorway with bands of richly carved patterns zigzags, stars and rosettes over the arch is breathtaking; there is another similar doorway, though less richly carved, in the south wall.
Inside the church is simple and rustic. Medieval faces painted on the walls peer out from across the centuries – look for St Christopher carrying Christ and St James, holding his pilgrim’s staff, with a delicate band of twining foliage.
The 500-year-old font is carved with angels, lions and roses – and there are memorials in the brick floor.
The simple interior at St Margaret’s church, Hales shows how even the smallest fragments of painting contribute to our understanding of how a church was decorated and used.
Painted colour was used to update architectural features and enhance fittings, while the traditional images of Doom and St Christopher may have been accompanied by a rarer and more ambitious scheme teaching the Apostles Creed.