Because of significant boundary changes between Oxford and adjoining counties, 
certain places may not be found where you think they should be. In which case, please use the following links:


Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Biddlesden, St Margaret

"Remote, on the Northamptonshire border. This little box-like church was once the chapel of the adjoining private house, and is attached to the stable block. It is of the same date as the house, 1730, which occupies the site of a Cistercian Abbey. 18th C. fittings, and clear glass, but undistinguished, its charm consisting of its private, park like situation and pleasant texture" (CEPC)

Two-storey west gallery, upper part for the family of the house.

Chearsley, St Nicholas

1761 gallery.

"The mediaeval building . . . has mercifully escaped serious recent restorations and has a gallery and old pews, with good 18th C. monuments. (CEPC)

Chetwode, St Mary & St Nicholas

The choir or chancel of a small Augustinian priory which became parochial in 1480 . . . the 14th C. chapel has become the Manor pew with fireplace . . .(CEPC)

Chicheley, St Lawrence

" . . . a splendid mixture of dates and styles . . . box pews and a nicely antiquated air." (CEPC)

*Dorney, St James

"Dreams away in a backwater beside the splendid timbered house of Dorney Court. Tudor brick tower and bits of every period of architecture before and since . . . 17th C. communion rails and other woodwork . . . (CEPC)

West gallery "1634 Henry Felo" on centre panel refers to Henry Fellows. Gallery still used by singers and musicians. #

*Dunton, St Martin

"A church with hardly any village, pleasantly unrestored. Box pews, west gallery with texts and Rectors' and Church Wardens' names . . . "(CEPC)
Gallery late 18th C. "Humble, with many inscriptions, including two in Greek." (Pevsner.) #

Edlesborough, St Mary the Virgin

"Horribly maltreated in the 18th cent., but contains the most wonderful things - complete screen, stalls, pulpit and tester, and roofs of the 15th century. . . " (CEPC)

Gayhurst, St Peter

This church needs checking out - reputed to contain a good pulpit, pews and panelling inside a 1728 rebuilding of a mediaeval church.

Great Linford, St Andrew

A blend of 18th cent. and Decorated Gothic, containing box pews and good altar rails.

Ibstone, St Nicholas

"Primitive, mainly 12th and 13th cent." (CEPC)
No ref. in Pevsner)

Ickford, St Nicholas

13th C. church with 17th C. gallery, projecting on two columns.

*Langley Marsh, St Mary

1811 minstrels' gallery at west end of north aisle; now holds organ, bought in 1865.

"Packed with interest . . . 17th C. tower, timber nave arcade dating from 1630, spacious and rich 14th C. chancel. . . above all the Kederminster and Seymour transept, pew and library, all of the first half of the 17th century and largely unaltered with books on their shelves . . . " (CEPC)

Lillingstone Lovell, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Formerly in Oxfordshire. 17th and 18th C. fittings, including pulpit, rails, pews, hatchments, etc.

Loudwater, unknown

Church 1788. "Three pretty galleries" (Pevsner)

Marsh Gibbon, St Mary

Known to have had a quire,  from the existence of a manuscript book of Psalm tunes and anthems.

Nether Winchendon, St Nicholas

18th C. gallery, (another source says 17th C.), with high pews, hatchments, sentences, and a Jacobean pulpit.

Newton Blossomville, St Nicholas

Partly 11th C., but the general impression is of simple countrified work of the 18th C., with pulpit and gallery, plus a little mediaeval glass. (CEPC)

North Crawley, St Firmin

An important mediaeval church, . . . with 15th C. painted screen . . . and box pews . . . (CEPC) Not in Pevsner.

Pitstone, St Mary

A small church lying in chalk fields below the Chilterns . . the whole being dominated by a fine Jacobean pulpit and tester beneath 18th C. 'sentences' over the chancel arch.

Tatternhoe, St Giles

Tiny, remote, church with no road to it, set within the moats, banks and ditches of a deserted village. A simple interior with box pews .

Thornton, St Michael

The church was shorn of its chancel in the mid 18th C. and stands opposite the front door of the big house, now Thornton College. Mostly 15th C. and "all but rebuilt circa 1850 . . . the effect . . . due to the use of plenty of old materials is not Victorian." Box pews facing inwards, college-chapel fashion.

Churches which are known to have had west gallery features or connections

Hardmead, St Mary


TL 93 44 77. Near Newport Pagnell, St Mary’s Church is listed Grade I. The medieval village which it served has long since disappeared although until deep ploughing operations in 1973 vague earthworks showed its location nearby. The west tower is 13th century, the chancel slightly later, whilst the south porch, top stage of the tower and clerestory are 15th century. The font is medieval and carved in clunch (hard chalk) and there is a pretty Georgian organ. Link to Friends of Friendless Churches Site

Stoke Poges, St Giles When the Hastings Chapel was renovated. the gallery (described as "good") was removed.

Twyford, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Chapels which have or had west gallery features or connections

Amersham, Particular Baptists, The Lower Meeting-house, High Street SU 956973. The Particular Baptists who seceded from the Upper Meeting ca. 1740 began to hold services in a cottage at Woodrow, (1 1/2 miles south-west) followed by the erection there of a meeting-house. Soon after the appointment of Richard Morris to the pastorate, meetings were commenced in his house at Amersham, close to the present site, which he registered in July 1777. Before 1781 a small chapel was built described in the Trust deeds as 27ft long and 20ft wide, standing 56ft up from the street, parts of which may be incorporated into the existing building. 

In 1783  a fund was started 'to erect a more commodious building' on part of Richard Thomas' 'great yard' and this date has generally been accepted as that of the present structure, although some details could date from the early 18th century. The meeting-house, which stands behind other property on the south-west side of the street, has brick walls and a hipped slate roof. 

The wide front wall has two distinct building phases; the first the three bays to the left, the second the two bays to the right. The arches of the three doorways and the arches of the two windows on the ground floor are decorated with female heads. In each side wall there are two small circular windows at gallery level. The rear is three-sided with round-arched windows in the angles. Above the roof is a decagonal lantern with urn finial. 

The interior has a circular domed ceiling; the rear wall is treated as a wide rounded apse opposite which is a balustraded gallery front of matching shape breaking forward slightly at the centre. Plain boarded pews in the gallery and box-pews below are contemporary with the building, but the pulpit and surrounding seating date from the late 19th century. (C&MH-B 1986)

Aylesbury, Former Independent, Castle Street SP 817138. Walls of brick, and a tiled roof. The north end was built in the later 19th century probably replacing a cottage behind which the chapel was erected. The west wall behind the adjoining property has at the centre a wide round-arched window matched by a similar window in the east wall, and to each side a small octagonal window of early 19th century type. Further rooms have been added against the south end.

The interior (55ft x 20ft inc. front enlargement) has a late 19th century North gallery The roof is supported by four trusses with king-posts above collar-beams, and clasped purlins. (C&MH-B 1986)

Bierton, Strict Baptist SP 839157. Present chapel probably built 1831, is of brick and slate, and originally aligned with a row of cottages, but enlarged in the front in 1885. The original building erected as or converted from a cottage is almost entirely obscured by a later work, but the interior retains the former cottage-like proportions with two doorways and two upper windows flanking the pulpit on the back wall. In 1885 a gallery in the front extension took the place of the side galleries. (C&MH-B 1986)
Buckingham, Old Meeting-house, Presbyterian, latterly Independent, Well Street SP 696339. Built in 1726 for a Presbyterian congregation which was formed in 1700. Despite the erection in 1793 of the Congregational 'New Meeting-house' on the site of the present chapel, increased attendances necessitated enlargements in 1809, 1816, and again in 1839. About 1850 the Well Street congregation and the Congregational church united, and the Well Street building was converted for use as school-rooms and for mid-week meetings. It has long since passed into commercial use although the upper part was at one time used by a Brethren's Assembly. Two small windows high in the side walls served the former gallery. The building much resembles that at Bicester, Oxon.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Chalfont St Giles, former meeting-house on site of present Congregational chapel. SU 988933. Small model in the present chapel shows the older building, which had galleries round three sides opposite the pulpit.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Chenies, Particular Baptist TQ 021981. Completed 1778, although enlarged to the front in 1799. Rear vestry rebuilt or enlarged 1833, and again enlarged and a schoolroom built above it in 1841, completed in 1851.  The chapel has brick walls and a hipped roof, formerly with a central valley and tiled, but now altered and slated. The interior has a flat plaster ceiling. The original  north-east wall, now internal, has two segmental-arched windows flanking the pulpit the cills of which have been raised and the inner jambs splayed. The gallery around three sides has a fielded panelled front extended to the south-west in 1799 and supported on four turned wood columns, one replaced in cast-iron, and by two thin columns added in1829. the columns and gallery fronts were marbled in green ca. 1910. The gallery staircases in the front corners replace staircases in the corresponding corners of the original structure. All the pews were renewed in the late 19th century, but some slight indications of former layout remain, especially in the gallery, where seat numbers on inside of fronts to side galleries are faintly visible below over-painting.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Ford, General Baptist SP 776092. Probably built in the mid 18th century, but enlarged 1829, and again in 1852. Largely refitted in 1882. Built of mixed materials, partly rendered, and a tiled roof half-hipped to the rear. The interior has a north-west gallery with early 19th century seating.
Edlesborough, Wesleyan SP 974197. Purple brick and yellow brick dressings and slate roof; octagonal corner buttresses to gabled front formally with pinnacles, lancet windows with cast-iron frames; built 1858. Original rostrum pulpit between front entrances with vestry behind, gallery opposite with screens to schoolroom beneath; box-pews. (C&MH-B 1986)
Great Horwood, Congregational SP 772313. A Sunday-school commenced ca. 1819 by John Adey of Winslow led to the formation of an adult congregation for the increased needs of which 'a barn was fitted up as a school house and a place of worship' in 1821. A gallery was added two years later. This chapel, built as a barn, has brick walls and a tiled roof. The original barn entrances are still visible in the north and south walls. The interior retains its original seating with shaped ends to open benches. The gallery seats have open backs, the ends of two of which rise to slender posts serving as candle sconces. The east gallery has a plain panelled front.   (C&MH-B 1986)
Great Missenden, Baptist, High Street SP 894013. The chapel, set back behind other buildings on the west side of the street, was built 1838. The front wall, rendered in stucco, has a recessed, central entrance flanked by narrow gallery staircases behind the end-bays,  The interior, now largely refitted, has a curved east walll behind the pulpit and a segmental gallery opposite with original cast-iron balustraded front.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Haddenham, Baptist SP 740086. A Particular Baptist church existed in Haddenham in 1655, but the meeting-house burnt down in 1701. The congregation continued to meet and in 1934 the present site was acquired and a small chapel built. It closed and by 1773 seems to have fallen into decay. A fresh start was made in 1799, and the present chapel dates from 1809, standing on the site of its predecessor. The interior has a plastered ceiling with a wide cove along the east and west sides. The south gallery is original and has a panelled front with applied pointed-arched ornament; side galleries were added soon after 1812 for the use of the Sunday-school children and have panelled fronts similar to the south gallery, but lower, and contemporary seating with shaped ends and low backs. The pulpit was replaced ca. 1948. (C&MH-B 1986)
Ivinghoe, Strict Baptist, Station Road SP 944163. The site was that of the house of one William Watts, and the chapel was registered in 1813.. It was enlarged to the south by the addition of a vestry and school-room in 1866. (C&MH-B 1986)
Lacy Green, Baptist, Speen  SU 844998. Known as Salem Chapel. (C&MH-B 1986)
Longwick, The Little Chapel, SP 787050. The Little Chapel, described in he Trust Deed of 13 November 1810 as 'lately erected', was not denominationally restricted although commonly regarded as Baptist, and with two ministers of that denomination as Trustees. The building is small and set far back from the road; the walls are of coursed rubble with brick quoins and dressings, and the roof is hipped and tiled. The north-east front has a central entrance between two segmental-arched windows and a circular window over. There are two similar windows in the rear wall and i each end wall is a window set high up below the eaves. The interior, partly refitted in the late 19th century and later, has a gallery to the south-east and an early 19th century pulpit opposite with coved and moulded cornice.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Marlow, Congregational SU 856865. 'Salem Chapel' was built 1838-40 as a church (now URC) formed in 1777. The present chapel, which stands to the north-west of its predecessor, is of red brick with a facing of yellow brick to the front. The interior, largely refitted in the late 19th century, has a rear gallery with children's seating divided and each half accessible separately from two staircases.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Newport Pagnall, Wesleyan, High Street SP 875439. Red brick front with oval tablet dated 1815. Original gallery at entrance, otherwise refitted.  (C&MH-B 1986)
North Crawley, Former Congregational SP 928447. Brick and slate. blind circle above central doorway and oval tablet in pediment dated 1821. Interior square with arcaded side walls, and rear gallery with original open-backed benches. Closed ca. 1968, now converted into a house.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Olney, Baptist SP 889513. The present chapel was largely rebuilt in 1893, and has stone walls and a slate roof. Some remains still exist of the former chapels on the site, and the two date stones of 1694 and 1763 relate to these earlier structures. Until 1893 there was a pulpit with pedimented back centrally against the longer north wall and deep galleries at the east and west ends - no longer there.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Princes Risborough, Baptist, Bell Street SP 809032. Present building dates from 1804-05, which was extended to the rear and internally rearranged in 1814. The galleries were enlarged and extended in 1833 and about 1871 a vestry was added and he interior reseated.  The 19th century galleries are around three sides, with rooms below the north-east gallery and a former baptistery below the opposite gallery. The tops of the side galleries are each carved with  large numerals 1-6 and the north-west gallery had square slots for music stands.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Waddesdon Hill, Nr Aylesbury, Strict and Particular Baptist SP 754150. Grade II* chapel of 1792, built by Francis Cox. Flint rubble with brick dressings and some later rendering and the hipped roof is covered with tiles. The rear wall has two closely-set windows which flank the original site of the pulpit, and high in each end wall is a window to light a gallery. The interior has a gallery at the north-east end with panelled front supported by two octagonal posts, and with contemporary seating. The pulpit, lowered and re-sited at the south-west end with a baptistery in front, replaces a second gallery. There is a a fireplace used by the ladies following baptism in the total immersion font which is under trap door immediately in front of the Georgian pulpit.  (C&MH-B 1986)

Link to Friends of Friendless Churches Site.

Wendover, General Baptist, South Street SP 869074. Present building thought to be a rebuild of the original chapel, ca. 1770, and, again, this forms the basis of the present building. Of dark red brick, heightened in the early 19th century and given a tiled roof gabled to east and west, but probably hipped originally. Chapel greatly enlarged in 1833, and in 1883 the west front was rebuilt in white brick with red brick dressings and the gallery staircase rebuilt in a projection to the south. There is a west gallery.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Wingrave, Congregational SP 868189. Built 1832 for a church (now URC) formed in 1805. Brick walls, rendered west front and hipped slate roof. Two tiers of windows with renewed frames; round-arched doorway with fanlight and small date-tablet above. West gallery with a panelled front and applied mouldings, supported by two thin iron columns. Reseated in the late 19th century.  (C&MH-B 1986)
Winslow, Keach's Meeting-house SP 769274. A General Baptist church was in existence in Winslow by 1654.  The meeting-house, which stands concealed behind other property close to the cattle market, and variously described as in Pillar's Ditch, Bell Alley, or Market Walk, was built in 1695. It is a small rectangular structure with walls in red brick in Flemish bond, and a tiled roof gabled to ease and west. 

The Meeting House, Winslow

The interior measures just 23ft x 15ft, and has been altered at various dates, and the present arrangement probably dates from the beginning of the 19th century. A gallery built at the east end in 1827 as a temporary measure to accommodate the influx of Independent seceders has an open-cross braced front supported by two posts replacing a central post, and a steep staircase to the north.  Box-pews north and south of central pulpit, flanking table pew, ca. 1800, altered. Open-backed benches at east end, early 19th century; against east wall, desks with hinged tops and four lead ink-wells, for use of the Sunday-school which started in 1824. 

Asterisks denote churches in preparation

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Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
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