If you have arrived here from a search engine, this site uses frames. If your server supports frames, link here.

You will then need to navigate back to this page using the County Index

Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Abbotts Ann, St Mary

Church built in the Classical style 1716 with its west gallery still in situ. #

Ashmansworth, St James

A small country-style Norman church with two tiny west galleries, labelled "Earl of Portsmouth" and "Rector". Access uncertain. #
Avington, St Mary Said to be the most perfect 18th C. church in the county, (CEPC) , it is built of brick with a massive tower and aisleless nave. Its internal appearance is entirely unspoiled, with reredos, two-decker pulpit with tester, and pews, including the Squire's pew. On the west gallery hang the Royal Arms, and there is a Barrel Organ still in place.

The gallery is dated 1771.  There is a barrel organ in the gallery and two small original benches.   (Pevsner)

The church was built 1768 - 71 by Margaret, Marchioness of Caernarfon, and her tomb records:

Amongft many other Acts of Piety, this Church was built from the ground by her Order and at her Expence, tho it pleafed God to remove her to a better World, a few Monthes before it was began. . .

But Reader Commiferate not her Fate (who doubtlefs is now completely bleft) but the unhappy Hufband in Lofing in the Prime of life the Virtuous Partner of his Bed and Heart - Beft of Women! Most unfortunate of Men."

Her unhappy husband was James Brydger Third Duke of Chandos. He rebuilt Little Stanmore church in Middlesex in 1715 and employed Handel as his Kapellmeister for two years. The Chandos anthems are dedicated to him. St Mary's is closely modelled on the Stanmore church.
Link here for further information by John Symonds

Beaulieu, St Bartholomew

Formerly the Refectory of the great Abbey in whose precincts it stands. 13th C. Reader's pulpit, west gallery thought to be 18th C.

*Bishop's Waltham, Dedication not known

In 1733 a faculty was granted for a gallery for "the singers"; the parishioners applied to the Bishop of Winchester for a faculty to erect a west gallery for "seat room in the church there to sitt together to sing Psalms". The gallery built in the same year. It still exists and has eight long seats. The faculty granted to each of the five applicants the right to one of these seats for their own use and for their family and tenants. The other three seats were for "the singers of Psalms". The faculty has never been revoked, so the seats are still available for the present owners and occupants of the properties of the original applicants.

An organ was installed in 1734. In 1797 a further gallery was built over south aisle, but was removed in 1897, along with the dormers which had been added to light it.

Boarhunt, St Nicholas

A small plain Saxon church, with a west gallery dating from ca. 1853. The furnishings all pitch pine and presumably date from 1853 restoration. The interior retains it "old" appearance.

*Bramley, St James

A Norman nave with several mediaeval wall paintings, 16th C. pews, old roof, and a gallery dating from 1728, when it was decided to build west gallery "for the young people and servants of the parish". In 1884 Ionic pillars were added to strengthen it to take the organ. (Church Guide) (One other source gives 1738 as the date for the gallery.)

Bramshaw, dedication not known

The church has an 18th C. west gallery.  (?1829)

Brockenhurst, St Nicholas

A Norman church set on a wooded knoll with an early 19th C. west gallery.

Dummer, All Saints

A village church with a deep west gallery dating from the 17th C.

East Dean, Dedication not known

The church has an 18th C. west gallery.

Ellingham, St Mary

The space above the screen has been filled in and painted with the Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, Creed and other texts of Elizabethan date. Royal Coat of Arms 1671. The adjoining screen is a pew parclose with tester head. (Guide Book)

Farnborough, Dedication not known

 17th. C. west gallery "on odd polygonal pillars. Square balusters to the parapet." (Pevsner.)

Froyle, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 A red brick church which stands in a park Royal Arms of George III, much heraldic glass, and a west gallery dated 1812.   (CEPC)

Greatham, Dedication unknown

Heckfield, Dedication unknown

Although heavily "restored" and now lacking any features from the WG period, the church was once used by a local quiremaster called William H Burgiss.

Idsworth, St Hubert's Chapel

A small Norman chapel surmounted by an 18th C. bell turret It retains its 18th C. atmosphere with box-pews, gallery, pulpit, Royal Arms, etc. It was well restored in 1912, and the gallery is believed to date from then.

Kingsley, St Nicholas

Contains an 18th C. west gallery.

Lymington, St Thomas the Apostle

Described in 1959 as "Georgian nave with good galleries and chancel Early English. A plan to replace the galleries by dull and lifeless modern work would rob the church of its character and it is much to be hoped that it will not materialise . . ." (R L P Jowitt in CEPC)

Fortunately it appears it never did, as there are still 18th C. galleries on Tuscan columns.

Mattingley, Dedication unknown

A remarkable 15th C. brick and timber church. There was once a clarinet in a glass case at its west end, now sadly stolen, which proves the existence of music of the WG period. The Parish forms part of the Parish of Heckfield, and is associated with the local composer and quiremaster, William H Burgiss.

*Minstead, All Saints

SU281109. Completely unrestored, this new Forest church stands a little way from the village, its core being 13th C. A Georgian brick tower was then added, and the South transept contains two Squire's pews complete with fireplaces, which open into the church like theatre seating.

There is a three-decker pulpit and box pews, 18th C. north and west galleries, and a further upper west gallery was constructed in 1818. There are dormer windows to light these galleries. #
In the churchyard on the south side of the church is a tombstone with a carved serpent above the inscription:
To the memory of Thomas Maynard who departed this life July 9th 1817 aged 27 years. The Band of Musicians of the South Hants Yeomanry (of which He was a Member) in testimony of their esteem caused this stone to be erected.

Nateley Scures, St Swithin

A tiny apsidal Norman church set next to a farmhouse. The church contains an 18th C. west gallery.

North Baddesley, St John the Baptist

A small country church with 17th C. tower and fittings, including a west gallery - ?18th C.

*Odiham, All Saints

A large parish church dating from the 14th C., restored in 1897. However, much 17th C. woodwork remains, including the gallery dated 1632. North and south galleries were added in 1836, but removed again in 1897.

The inscription on the gallery reads:
Gallery originally placed in front of tower; in 1836 it was cut in two to allow for new central west gallery and moved further back on either side of tower, thus losing the inscription at each end.

Portsmouth Cathedral, St Thomas of Canterbury

Jacobean tower and quire; mediaeval transepts and chancel, late 12th C., but with nave and aisles by Sir Charles Nicholson, 1935. Gallery dates from 1706, extended 1750.

Portsmouth, St Anne

The church has an 18th C. gallery, although much restored.

Southwick, St James-Without-the-Priory-Gate

The church, built in 1566, contained, until the early 1950s, a collection of box-pews, but most, if not all, of these had to be destroyed following an attack by death-watch beetle. The 17th C. gallery has a painted panelled front and stands on twisted wooden posts. The three-decker pulpit, altar rails and painted reredos are also of the same period. Behind the pulpit is a large box pew originally for the ladies of Southwick House, with the Squire's Pew opposite on the north side.
*Stratfield Saye, Dedication not known This church contains a west gallery upon which stands a Barrel organ.

Tadley, St Peter

The gallery has "sturdy late 17th C. balusters, alas half sawn-off." (Pevsner) Possibly same date as tower, 1685. This little rural church has dormer windows, and the altar-table, pulpit and seats are all of the same period.

Tichborne, St Andrew

SU 568303. Carved Jacobean box pews


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

Selborne, St Mary

SU742338. The church once contained box-pews, of a standard and condition described by Gilbert White as  ' . . . nothing can be more irregular than the pews of this church which are of all dimensions and heights, being patched up according to the fancy of the owners.' See Pew Renting 

Silchester, St Mary


A little church standing on the Roman wall of the town Calleva Atrebatum, which contains a Jacobean pulpit with domed canopy, and Early English chancel with original wall paintings. Once it contained box-pews and dormer windows (to light a gallery?)

Wolverton, St Catherine

Dating from 1717, this church is reminiscent of the London Wren churches. The architecture and fittings form an entity worth seeing. Unfortunately the Victorians removed the west gallery and also the chancel gates. Even so, the pulpit, reredos, pews, reading desk and wrought-iron altar rails still remain.

Winchester, St John

A blocked door for the external stair to a gallery can still be seen.

Alton, Dedication not known

One gallery in 1702, lots by 1838. Singing gallery at west end, two or three galleries at east end including one directly over the high altar, and galleries over the whole of the south side, each with their own stair. In 1810 two new galleries were built in the chancel and the old one repaired. In 1814/15 new gallery and seats. In 1824 another new gallery costing £150 at the east end. At the same time it was decided that "the present singing gallery be raised, and an additional seat be made in front." In 1829 the church acquired a barrel organ. 1862 plan to remove galleries and add north aisle and west gallery. (Guide book has photo of eastern gallery.)

Bishop's Sutton, Dedication not known

The gallery was removed in 1893
Boldre, St John "Formerly there was a gallery over the Western door, which blocked the west window. In it was installed a Barrel Organ which played three tunes, the "Old Hundredth", another hymn and a psalm. The organ was assisted by a flute player, and according to one story by a band of instrumentalists and singers. There was also another Gallery in the North Aisle called the "Servants' Gallery", which was removed at the Restoration of 1855..The bassoon belonging to the old church band has been restored to the Church. It rests near the organ, in the doorway niche of the old rood screen." (Guide book, 1950)

East Meon, Dedication not known

Galleries removed 1869/70

St. Mary Bourne, Dedication not known

Organ originally in west gallery; moved in 1910.
Asterisks denote churches in preparation

Up Arrow


email logo






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

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -