Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Aston Subedge, St Andrew Postcode: GL55 6QA.  MAP:  SP 14 SW
Anglican Parish Church. 1797. By Thomas Johnson of Warwick for Lord Harroby. Ashlar limestone with purple slate roof. Flat limestone copying at gable ends and heavily moulded stone eaves cornice. Nave and chancel with 3-sided apse. Gothic style with neo-Greek west bellcote. 3-windowed nave. 2 windows light apse. All windows probably C19, pointed with 'Y' tracery. 3 steps up to door in pointed archway in west gable end. Scratch sundial on south wall. Eroded early C19 memorial to members of the Green family of Saintbury on north wall. Decorative ironwork weather vane on bellcote. Interior: Simple nave with barrel-vaulted plastered ceiling and C18 wooden gallery with fielded panelled front supported by wood Tuscan order columns supported on pew backs. Single step up to chancel through pointed arch. Original C18 font inside door. Gallery retains original pews. Other pews C19 except in south east corner of nave where some original along-the-wall seating remains. C18 wood pulpit with tester adjacent. Late C17 tombstones in floor of nave. 3 wall tablets to members of the Harrowby family in chancel. Fittings for gas lighting at east end of nave and on west wall of gallery. (David Verey, The Buildings of England: The Cotswolds 1979)

Photo kindly supplied by Geograph, and may be reused subject to this creative commons usage licence


(see Great Badminton, below)

Bishop's Cleeve, St Michael and All Angels

Late 12th C, church sympathetically restored and retaining its 17th C. west gallery. Striking Norman west front and doorway, also the south porch.

Pictures: Wikipedia      and the V & A Museum

Bristol, Christ Church

Organ on gallery at west end. Pulpit with tester.

Bristol, St John the Baptist

A small unaisled early Perpendicular church, set above a vaulted crypt. It is full of fittings from several periods, including a . west gallery, font and other fittings from the 17th C.

Bristol, St. Thomas the Martyr

Church dating from 1792-93. The west gallery dates from 1728-32, and was originally in the previous church on the site.

Bristol, Buckland, No dedication

Originally a chapel in the parish of Westbury, it is built in classical style with a western cupola and Ionic façade. Fine Georgian woodwork inside. (CEPC)

Bristol, Kingsdown St Matthew

Church built 1833 - 35 as a good solid pre-Tractarian edifice in the Perpendicular style. Retains its early arcades and three galleries, one of which is used for the organ.

Buckland, St Michael

A little church mostly in the Perpendicular style, which has almost completely escaped the hands of Victorian restorers. 13th C. nave arcades with Perpendicular clerestory. 17th C. oak panelling complete with tester heads in the south aisle, and there are hat-pegs in the gallery. Many other treasures, including clear glass in situ, and the Rectory is worth a visit as well.

Dowdeswell, dedication not known

Little remaining earlier than the 17th C internally, but there are two galleries.  That at the west end belonged to the Lord of the Manor, and the smaller gallery in the north transept to the Rector. Pews face three ways.  Chancel is some 3 ft. above the nave.  (TC)

Duntisbourne Rous, St Michael

A small Saxon church with a saddle-back tower, set on the steep bank of the adjoining brook. Contains 17th C. panelled box-pews.
Dyrham, St Peter Transitional Norman and Perpendicular in period, it contains a fine Jacobean pulpit with tester.
Gloucester, St Mary de Lode The church has a Norman crossing and a 'preaching box nave'.
Great Badminton, St Michael and All Angels An 18th C. classical church attached to the great house of the Dukes of Beaufort. It is approached through the garden, and retains the atmosphere of a private chapel, rather than parish church.

Box-pews and pulpit with tester.
Great Washbourne, St Mary Tiny Norman church with 18th C. box-pews, reading desk and pulpit.
Hailes, Dedication unknown A little cement rendered church near the Abbey ruins which contains a 17th C. pulpit and tester and other older fittings. Its appearance belies the wealth of the fittings inside.
Iron Acton, St James the Less Contains a Jacobean pulpit with canopy.
Kingsdown, Bistol, St Matthew Built 1833-35 by Thomas Rickman. Remains mainly unaltered, with three galleries, an organ case in "correctly early Revival Gothic", and the arms of William III. (CEPC)

*Longborough, Dedication not known

The north transept is/was effectively the the private pew of the Sezincote family, designed by R Cockerell in 1882. (CC)

*Newent, Dedication not known

The church had south and west galleries and another across the chancel and Lady Chapel. The latter taken down 1805. In 1839 the south and west galleries were rebuilt, but the south gallery was subsequently removed in 1912.  The west gallery therefore remains.

*North Cerney, All Saints

A mostly Norman church with Early English upper stages to the west tower. The gallery was constructed in 1754.

"The organ started its life as a barrel organ in the west gallery. You turned a handle and it played a couple of dozen tunes. It was an old Walker barrel organ, made in the 18th C., but around 1870 it was beginning to fail and did not always produce the right tunes. A new organ chamber was built with a vestry underneath and the heating apparatus below that. The organ was converted to a hand-blown manual organ, and stayed like that until the electric lighting was put into the church [ ca. 1964] (CC)

Stanton, St Michael and All Angels

This church has a rood screen, reredos, stained glass and gallery all designed by Sir Ninian Comper.

Tetbury, St Mary

The present church replaced an earlier one demolished to make way for it in 1781, and it is deemed to be one of the finest examples of the Gothic revival. Contains its original 18th C. box-pews and continuous gallery on its south, west and north walls.

*Westerleigh, St James the Greater

Church with tall Perpendicular tower, and an 18th C. gallery.

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

Almondsbury, St Mary the Virgin

"The singing gallery at the west end, originally erected in 1785 of Dutch oak with four fluted pillars, was removed in 1889, and some of the timber was reused to make the present inner porch."

Avening, Holy Cross

North and west galleries removed in 1902.

Awre, Dedication not known

"In the parish Register dated 1579 is written 'Let it be remembered for the honour of this parish of Awre that from it first sounded out the Psalms of David in English Meter.' These metrical psalms were the work of Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins…their version of the Psalms first appeared in metric verse without music in 1549, but by 1556 the musical version was on the market and in the introduction to most Psalters from this period onwards were instructions on how to sing. This was the vocalist's primers and was the only authorised Church of England metrical Psalter until about 1700. All traces of John Hopkins' birthplace on the banks of the Severn at Awre were washed away by the tide long ago…The home of Thomas Sternhold still stands, now called the Hawfield, a private residence near Blakeney. One of the rooms has always been known as the psalm room." Didmarton Evidence for former west gallery remains in the form of rows of coat pegs high on the walls at the west end, as well as traces of the former door in the south wall. More coat pegs remain in the north transept, where there was another gallery.

Bristol, St Stephen

Once had "superb" early Georgian mahogany furniture. (CEPC)

Any west gallery attributes remaining??

Bristol, Clifton, St Andrew

Built in 1819-20, it was destroyed in 1940 by enemy bombing. It had galleries on north and south sides, and is believed also to have had a west gallery in the same style.

Bristol, Fishponds, St Mary

originally called Trinity Chapel, and was consecrated on 31st August 1821.  At that time, it consisted of a rectangular nave to seat about 550, with a gallery at the west end for 142, including children and 'cello to lead the singing.  At the east end was a tiny chancel and three-decker pulpit  The entrance with porch was in the south wall of the nave.

In 1869, when it became St Mary's, the tiny chancel was demolished and replaced by a much larger chancel and sanctuary with choir stalls, the width of the nave, an organ being installed in the same area.  There is also a tower and spire at the west end with main west doors.  The gallery and south porch were demolished and the south door blocked up.

Eastington, Dedication not known

Gallery for the Clutterbucks of Millend and Nastend was built under the tower in 1760.

Great Witcombe, Dedication not known

Tower rebuilt 1750-2; west gallery possibly added at same time. Removed 1889.

Lechlade, St Lawrence

Had organ in west gallery.
Longborough, Dedication ununown

Newland, All Saints

Had musicians' gallery in tower.

Rudford, Dedication not known

Known to have had a west gallery. (Building News, Vol. VI, 1860.)

Somerford Keynes, Dedication not known

1708 new tower; squire added west gallery. 1815 small organ given and put in gallery. Gallery removed 1874.

Stone, All Saints

West gallery removed 1883. Wickwar Gallery removed 1880/1

Withington, St Michael

1872 "Gallery seats and wall lining were entirely cleared out" (Architect's report).

Choir and orchestra replaced by barrel organ and then by present organ. Info. from grandson of old sexton, who had lived early 19th C.

Churches which are known to have had external stairs to west or other galleries

Dowdeswell, St Michael

The west gallery was the Manor pew and the north transept gallery was the Rectory pew, both with outside stairs, circa 1840.

North Cerney, All Saints

1828 west gallery; front marbled by Eden in 1915.

Chapels which have west or other galleries

Bristol, John Wesley's Chapel  
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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