St Michael's Church
The parish church of St Michael probably dates back to the foundation of the city of Cambridge itself, though no written records survive prior to a valuation of the living in 1217. Substantially rebuilt by Hervey de Stanton in the Decorated style, the Church was designed to serve both the parish and the college. On 18 March 1324/5, the first Master of Michaelhouse, Walter de Buxton was inducted as vicar of St Michael's Church.
Parish Church and Chapel for three Colleges
The church's nave would have been used for parish worship, regular preaching, university debates and lectures. Until the completion of a chapel for neighbouring Gonville Hall in 1396, both Michaelhouse and Gonville shared in the use of the two aisles; Gonville making use of the north aisle of the church, Michaelhouse using the south.
While the altarpiece may have survived the reformation, it certainly would not have survived local Cromwellian iconoclasm, and was most likely destroyed, alongside other images in St Michael's, on Boxing Day 1643.
From the middle of the seventeenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century, the church was used as a venue of the episcopal and archidiaconal visitations for the Diocese of Ely. Similarly, Diocesan confirmation services would be held at St Michael's, rather than in Ely Cathedral. On 11 November 1849, as the congregation was gathering for Sunday worship, the heating system caused the church roof to catch fire, resulting in the careful rebuilding of the roof by George Gilbert Scott and the restoration of the church the following year. Scott's renovation did not extend beyond introducing a new stone porch at the north side of the church, the major restructuring of the church fell to Scott's son, George Gilbert Scott Junior.