Essex

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Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Alresford, Dedication not known

"Nice west gallery with twisted balusters."  (Pevsner)

Belchamp Otten,  Dedication not known

Box-pews and NW gallery. Early 19th C.   (Pevsner)

Billericay, Dedication not known

Late 18th C interior, 3 galleries and other fittings.   (Pevsner)

Boxted, Dedication not known

West gallery dated 1836 (?) on cast-iron columns.   (Pevsner)

Chingford, Dedication not known

Church dates from 1836 and has west gallery on cast-iron columns.   (Pevsner)

Chipping Ongar, St Martin

The chancel and nave date from the 11th C.  Original date of west gallery not recorded, but it was certainly in being in 1752-53 when other work was done.  West gallery rebuilt in 1860. 1896 new organ positioned on gallery and choir moved to chancel. 

Colchester, St Botolph

Church dates from 1837, and contains galleries.   (Pevsner)

Colchester, St Giles

Now a redundant church, the interior dates from 1819, and includes a west gallery.   (Pevsner)

Colchester, St Peter

Church dates from 18th C. and contains North and South galleries.   (Pevsner)

Danbury, St John the Baptist

"In the tower arch . . . is a pretty gallery of circa 1600" (Pevsner)

Harwich, St Nicholas

Built in 1820 - 21, with west gallery surmounted by organ, north and south galleries, high pews at west end, and a pew set aside for the Mayor and Corporation.

High Ongar, St Mary the Virgin

The west gallery was constructed in 1858.  The organ now in the centre of the gallery was purchased in 1871

Hornchurch, St Andrew

The church was certainly in existence by 1163.  Payments to the singers were made during the 19th C., but appear to cease when a barrel organ was first purchased.  This was placed at the front of the west gallery (this being the first mention of such a gallery yet found) In 1861 a larger pipe organ was purchased and installed close to the chancel, the barrel organ being sold. The west gallery is now used as a ringing chamber.

East Horndon, All Saints

A church with a cruciform plan, with small galleries in each transept, which take the form of upper rooms. These were built in the 17th C.

"Balconies or galleries divide the narrow transepts into two storeys"   (Pevsner)

Gosfield, St Katherine

The church contains a theatre-box type of Squire's pew.

Lambourne, St Mary & All Saints

A simple mediaeval aisleless church which contains a gallery dated 1704, the gift of a London ironmonger. It was plastered "sumptuously" in Georgian times. (CEPC)

Lawford, Dedication not known

North arcade built 1826; North aisle has early 19th C. "wooden gallery on cast-iron shafts.   (Pevsner)

South Benfleet, St Mary the Virgin

West gallery 1931 by Sir Charles Nicholson. (Pevsner) Used essentially as an organ gallery. Rood screen and early ballusters around Sanctuary.

Stanford Rivers, St Margaret

Nave mid-12th C. Chancel 14th C.  West gallery constructed 1817.  Bomb damage 1944 and restoration 1948-52.  The west gallery was not taken down, but a partition was was fixed to the front of it, so converting it into a Parish Room, thus rendering it unusable as a gallery.  This partitioning has now been removed.

"Bits of tracery [from the screen] have been reused in the west gallery."   (Pevsner)

Wanstead, St Mary the Virgin

Said to be the best example surviving of an 18th C. church in Essex. It was entirely rebuilt in 1790 by Thomas Hardwick. The pulpit has a sounding board supported by slender palm tree columns; box-pews; three (N, W, & E.) galleries. (CEPC)

West Bergholt, Dedication not known

"Rustic C18th gallery" (guide book) On Tuscan columns.   #
   
   

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

Bobbingworth, St Germain Chancel built in 14th C. onto a 13th C. nave. The nave was rebuilt in brick in 1680, and the chancel was replaced in 1840.  A west gallery was erected in the nave in 1770, but was removed in 1931-32 during repairs to the roof and the south wall. 
Epping, St John the Baptist An ancient site. The first chapel of which there is record was altered and enlarged many times. In 1838 a 'Singers' gallery was built.  The chapel remained a Chapel-of-ease for many years, and in 1812 a new chapel was built on the same site. - this was rectangular with galleries on three sides. (All this time the parish church for Epping was at Epping Upland)

In 1889 St John's was rebuilt with Bodley as the architect, in a style which was 14th C Gothic.  It was fitted with the tenets of the Ecclesiologists and the Oxford Movement, and by Act of Parliament it became the Parish Church of Epping.  No galleries after 1889.

Epping UplandAll Saints Had a west gallery up until 1858. [Christopher Bard]
Fyfield, St Nicholas Nave 12th C. Chancel 14th C.  A west gallery was installed during the late 18th C., although the date is not recorded.  The gallery was removed during 1894 when "restoration" was being carried out.
Havering-atte-Bower, St Mary the Virgin This was an ancient Royal Chapel, which was rebuilt during 1374-77 as the village church.  The first mention of a west gallery is in 1745, although the actual date of construction is not known.  In 1836 the church was enlarged, and the gallery was rebuilt for the use of "The Charity School, Sunday School and Singers."  Forty years later the church, together with the west gallery, was demolished, and a new modern church as built and consecrated in 1878.
Helions Bumpstead, St Andrew TL 6541. West Gallery removed due to dry rot.  Organ removed from gallery c.1924.   Organ thought originally to have been a barrel organ.  http://lehuray2.csi.cam.ac.uk/
Moreton, St Mary the Virgin Present building dates from the 13th C., although there was an earlier church building on the same spot.  West Gallery built on 1727 as part of a Benefaction.  A Barrel organ was acquired after th 1868-69 "restoration". At the purchase of a positif organ in 1905 the west gallery was taken down.
Saffron Walden, St Mary the Virgin Gallery for Audley End family erected circa 1660 in place of rood loft, and gallery in north aisle in 1790. Removed 1860.
Stapleford Tawney, St Mary   The chancel was built in 1220, and the nave shortly after.  A west gallery was constructed late in the 18th C. by the Lord of the Manor for the use of his servants and the 'singers'.  Although done without a faculty, retrospective consent was given. In 1862  a major restoration of the church was carried out, during which the gallery was removed. 
Stondon Massey, St Peter & St Paul Church dates from ca. 1100.   In 1825 a gallery for the singers and the church band was built on the north side of the nave. In 1850 this was removed by a new vicar, and a singers' pew at the west end developed into a west gallery.  A barrel organ was also installed. The west gallery was demolished in 1873, being deemed "unsightly", and the barrel organ replaced by a harmonium. 

William Byrd lived here for the last 30 years of his life. 

Theydon Garnon, Dedication not known Chancel 13th C.   Nave 15th C.   The first mention of psalm-singers is in 1774, by which time they could well have been singing together for some time. The  Vestry Meeting in 1774 decided to have a "Singers' Gallery" - location not mentioned.  Another source confirms that this was in the north aisle. Gallery removed in 1863, when the location was panelled.
Theydon Mount, St Michael The west gallery was erected in 1837 for the use of Hill Hall servants and musicians. It was removed 1926?  1929 when it was feared to be in danger of collapsing.
   
   

Chapels which still retain west gallery features or connections

North End, The Black Chapel, 

Timber-framed chapel with attached priest's house.  Early 19th C. box-pews and west gallery with tiny organ.   (Pevsner)
   
Asterisks denote churches in preparation

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
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July 2001 -