Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Babbington, St Margaret The mid-18th C. church and manor house form a charming group away from all other habitations. The church is the most completely unaltered Georgian example in Somerset. Apsidal sanctuary and small west tower with octagonal cupola. The interior has good moulded plaster work on the roof and apse. Box-pews, curved holy table, gated altar rails, two-decker pulpit, pedestal font and clear glass. (CEPC)
Bagborough, St Pancras Said to be rich in fittings of the Georgian period. No further details known.
Banwell, St Andrew Mainly 14th C. core, but with 15th C. and later additions. The west gallery is said to have been made from an Elizabethan manorial pew. (CEPC)

There is also a porch gallery.
Bath, Larkhall, St Saviour, Gothic revival church of 1829-32. Impressive late Georgian attempt at Somerset Perpendicular style; galleried interior, Victorianised in 1882.
Bath, Walcot, St Swithun, Rebuilt in 1777-80 by John Palmer, tower and spire 1790. Ionic classic design, interior galleried and with free-standing Ionic columns; monuments; Victorian pews; shallow chancel. (CEPC)
Berrow, dedication not known The Jacobean beam now at the west end of the south aisle was probably the supporting beam of a minstrels' gallery that was once at the west end. The inscription on the front of the gallery read:
  I was set up right and even 1637.  
  They are of the Lord acurst that in  
  theyr delings are not just.  
The initials of churchwardens are also appended.

A door beneath the west window gave external access to gallery.
  Accounts - 1778  
  Bought - a bass viol and an hautboy.  
Cameley, St James An isolated church next to a farmhouse, it is of 12th C. origin but refashioned in the 15th C. Internally there are white walls, clear glass in the windows, box-pews, canopied pulpit, gated altar-rails and galleries. (CEPC)

The gallery with turned balusters dates from 1711 and there is a second gallery dating from 1819, both with wooden hat-pegs, and reached by an external stone stair. The 1819 gallery was "for the free use of the inhabitants." (NB the font cover was made in 1634 for £1.12s 4d) #

The parish church is dedicated to St. James and dates from the late 12th century. The tower, probably from the 15th century with 19th century restoration, built of red Mendip stone contrasts with the local blue lias limestone of the rest of the church. There are fragments of wall paintings on the nave north and south walls. Fragments from the 12th to the 17th century have been identified, the most impressive being the fine early 17th century Ten Commandments over the chancel arch, framed in twining leaves with cherubs' faces peering out. The west gallery is dated 1711 but with  Jacobean style balusters and attached Charles ! coat of arms. The south gallery is dated 1819. There are 2 early 19th century monuments to the Rees-Mogg family on nave north wall . . . (Wikipedia)
Catcott, dedication not known Has west gallery of very simple type, other fittings, benches with some hinged child seats, communion rail, table, font cover, reading desk, pulpit, painted texts, royal arms, text boards. 17th/19th cent date. Mediaeval church,  aisleless. The Victorians tampered with the chancel. - Info from Phillip Shepherd
Churchstanton, St Peter & St Paul Some way out from its village, the church is in typical West Country Perpendicular style, largely refitted ca. 1800.
Croscombe, Blessed Virgin Mary Mostly 15th and 16th C, , with a stone spire. Interior largely refitted in early 17th C., with lofty screen, canopied pulpit and box-pews. (CEPC)
Ditcheat, St Mary Magdalene Has a 17th C. reading desk.
East Brent, St Mary Magdalene Mainly 15th C., with a stone spire, , but has a wooden lectern, and a 17th |C. pulpit and gallery. (CEPC)

Gallery is dated 1635. It was originally on the site of (supported by ?) the mediaeval rood screen. 1824 carpenter's bill: "Removing Gallery to west end . . . putting up the partition at the back of the Gallery and over where the old Gallery stood . . . A Gothic screen between the Church and Chancel measuring 169 ft . . . Altering and framing part of the front of the Gallery and making framing to match with carved rails, panels etc." (Source?)
Evercreech, St Peter

OS grid ST6438 :: Geograph British Isles  Church dates from 14th - 15th C., tower and nave roof 15th C. The west gallery "looks to be made up from the timbers of the old rood screen" (Guide book).
The galleries were added in the 1840s. Painted Angel roof

Goathurst, St Edward The church, as it is now, dates from the 15th to 16th century and is mainly of the Perpendicular Period. A beautiful quite simple building of rough rubble walling of the local stone. The quoins and mouldings are mainly Ham stone with reconstituted pieces of Blue Lias. (Goathurst website)

But Goathurst, a small Somerset village under the Quantocks, is fortunate in possessing not only the complete music library of its west- gallery choir, but an exceptionally full series of church-wardens' accounts, from which the history of the band can be traced. . . . there is no mention of any music in any form until 1786, when a modest 2s is paid for 'a pitch-pipe for the Galerey' . . . ( Donald MacArthur in the Musical Times, Vol. 64, No. 962 (Apr. 1, 1923), pp. 264-267

Is this still there???

Holcombe, St Andrew The church now stands a mile away from the village, which moved and now has its own Victorian church. 12th C. origins, refashioned in 16th C., and later. Interior if very much of one period, with box-pews, hat pegs, two-decker pulpit, west gallery and clear glass. (CEPC)

"Unrestored and atmospheric". #
Ilminster, St Mary One of the greatest of Somerset churches. Mainly 15th C. and of cruciform plan, with central tower and elaborate north transept. The nave arcades were rebuilt and aisles raised to accommodate galleries. . . . Note also, fan vault of tower, 17th C. Jacobean pulpit and screen and 18th C. chandelier. (CEPC)
Larkhall, Bath, St Saviour See above.
Limpley Stoke, dedication not known The church has a 17th C. west gallery, but no other details known.
Lopen, All Saints Hidden behind the Schoolhouse. A simple two-celled church with bellcote, extended by a north transept in 1834. Rather charming inside with a west gallery but the gallery in the north transept has vanished (there is an external stair and doorway).  Also, an old font, 17th Century communion rails, reconstructed (2002) Roman pavement, and a large transept of 1834 (complete with door for a now-vanished gallery). On one wall, half hidden by the pulpit, a coloured slate incised tablet (of a kind more usually found in Cornwall). See photos at, courtesy Phil Draper, (Churchcrawler).
North Petherton, St Mary Mainly 15th C., with a superb tower. Gallery dated 1623, and a 17th C. manorial pew. (Are these one and the same??)
Pawlett, St John Baptist Has a 12th C. core, refashioned in 13th and 15th C. A fine display of 17th C. fittings - three-sided altar-rails, box-pews, font cover, pulpit and reading desk. Windows mostly have clear glass.
Rodney Stoke, dedication not known West gallery. 1625 screen with open balustrade.
St Audries, St Ethelburga Now has the 1772 Barrel Organ originally at Kilton Church, Somerset.
Seavington, St Michael Set in a churchyard a lot higher than the road. At the west end an original stone  bellcote with a timber-framed extension added to the east, presumably to house additional bells. Inside is a west gallery, old font, effigy of a civilian against the chancel wall, Charles II Royal Arms and two old figures in glass. Panelled chancel arch (unusual - normally it is the tower arch that is so). Photos courtesy Phil Draper, (Churchcrawler).
Selworthy, All Saints A typical West Somerset 15th C. church with plastered walls and squat west tower. Within are rich wagon-roofs, mediaeval and Comper glass, carved bench-ends, 15th C. pulpit with 17th C. tester, 18th C. west gallery, manorial pew and monument by Chantrey. . . (CEPC)

Picture  Phil Draper

Shepton Mallet, Unknown Small chapel with box pews and two harmoniums (harmonia?). Exact location unknown.
Stawley, St Michael One of the few churches in this area of Somerset which escaped the Victorians. 13th C. fabric and mostly 18th C. fittings, which include box-pews, altar-rails, pulpit with domed tester and clear glass in the windows. (CEPC)
Sutton Mallet, unknown dedication A little church, highly" atmospherick", rebuilt in 1829. It retains its box-pews, gated altar-rails, three-decker pulpit and west gallery. (CEPC)
Swell, St Catharine 12th C. origin, recast in the 15th C. It retains its 17th C. altar-rails, font cover and pulpit, together with the 18th C. box-pews.
Timsbury, St Mary

The ancient church fell into disrepair in the 1820s and it was pulled down and rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1826. Rev Barter was a great benefactor to the new church, but unfortunately he died before it was finished. Rev John Skinner (Rector of Camerton and diaryist) records in 1825  “Poor Barter had hoped to live to witness the completion of the new church at Timsbury… but this was not to be.”

The new church consisted then of a nave and chancel, built from designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the leading European architect who designed Westminster Abbey and the Albert Memorial. In fact, the existing road had to be moved to accommodate the new chancel. Side aisles were added in 1852, when the square benches, side galleries were taken away (evidence of the fixing points are still visible on the outside walls), and the organ was also moved to the north side aisle. (quotes from church website: )

Tintinhull, St Margaret Jacobean pulpit with tester.
Watchet, St Decuman 17th C. pulpit with tester.
Weston-in-Gordano, dedication not known The church has a porch gallery.
Wiveliscombe, St Andrew The church was rebuilt in 1829, and has been described as a "tasteless building with a showy semi-Italian interior". It is nothing of the sort, being in fact a most interesting structure in a free rendering of \Perpendicular, and has of late been relieved of certain Victorian blemishes which had intruded and has now a delightful interior. Box-pews, gate altar-rails and a west gallery. . . . (CEPC)
Wyke Champflower, Holy Trinity A small aisleless parallelogram, attached to the manor house. It was rebuilt in 1623 in Jacobean Gothic. It has entirely escaped Victorian 'restoration'. Box-pews, hat-pegs, altar-rails, holy table and pulpit. (CEPC)

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

Backwell, St Andrew The church had wooden gallery over the south door.
Barrington, dedication not known The west gallery was removed in 1860 (along with communion table, rails, pulpit, reading desk, font, pews, chancel and transepts!)
Berrow, dedication not known Has a beam from the west gallery of 1637, which had external access via a door beneath the west window and was removed in 1885. (NB 1631 prayer desk; pulpit had 1621 on original base, all replaced in 1885.) See above. See above.
Chew Magna, dedication not known Had a singing gallery in the late 14th C. porch.
Blackford, St Michael Near Wincanton, this church once had a west gallery.
Croscombe, St Mary Organ installed in west gallery in 1837; gallery removed 1860. See above.
Freshford, dedication not known North gallery built 1738 due to lack of seating; had external stair. Ca.1800 the north aisle was extended eastwards, also with a gallery but with an internal stair. Well into the 19th C., a man was paid 10s. per annum for keeping order in the gallery. In 1859 the west gallery "for the singers" removed. In 1868 an organ was obtained. In 1910 the north galleries were removed, and the organ placed in gallery under west tower. In the 1930s the organ was moved and choir moved from the rear of the church and robed.  
Glastonbury, St John Baptist Before 1856 two western bays of the nave were filled with a gallery with an organ. (Also removed at that date were the oak pulpit and tester, oak panelled box pews, benches at the back for the poor, and pews for mayor and corporation.)  
Ilminster, St Mary the Virgin In 1824-25 the nave and aisles were raised to accommodate north and south galleries as well as a west gallery. In 1882 the north and south galleries were removed and a smaller one at west end was substituted (still there). Rood loft "used for musicians until 1782 at least." [?] (Guide book)   See above.
Isle Abbots, St Mary The musicians' gallery was removed in 1874 .
Otterhampton, dedication not known "Rather harsh restoration in 1894" when west gallery was removed.
Ruishton, St 
St Michaelchurch, St Michael The church of ST. MICHAEL comprises an undivided chancel and nave with north and south aisles, and a north tower above a porch. The proportions of the building and part of the north wall of the nave apparently survive from the 11th century. Some rebuilding took place in the 15th century at the west end. The east window is of the 15th or early 16th century and in 1840 the church retained square-headed windows of the same period. (fn. 38) The lay rectors were regularly presented in the 16th and 17th centuries for failing to maintain the church. (fn. 39) In 1663 it was said to be ruined and to have been so for some years, and the parishioners received support from the parishes of the diocese to pay for its rebuilding. (fn. 40) After 1823 a long south transept at the west end of the nave was removed. (fn. 41) Later in the century north and south aisles of three bays were built, the north known as the Maunsel aisle and the south built by Sir Alfred Slade in 1868, (fn. 42) possibly by the architect who was extending Maunsel House the same year. In 1840 the church had a west gallery with an outside staircase. (fn. 43) Communion rails dated 1635 were said to have been removed to the Priory, Chilton Polden. (fn. 44) There is a plain octagonal medieval font. The tower contains one bell dated 1670, (fn. 45) recast in 1938. (fn. 46) The church possesses a small Elizabethan cup and cover. (fn. 47) The registers date from 1695 and are complete. (fn. 48)  (VCH on line history)
Shepton Mallett, St Peter & St Paul During the early and mid 1800s the transepts and side chapels were removed, and galleries were constructed, but these were dismantled in 1966 for safety reasons. The organ, originally at the west end, was removed to the north east corner and rebuilt in 1859 enabling the west windows to be reconstructed in coloured glass in memory of a previous Rector. Box pews were replaced by the present oak pews in 1887-9.

Taunton, St Mary Magdalene North gallery removed in 1845. The first organ was installed in 1709 on a gallery in the centre of the west tower.
Wells, St Cuthbert This town church had a west gallery, but still retains a rich Carolean pulpit.
West Harptree, dedication not known Porch room had window opening into south aisle; possibly a musicians' gallery.  
Wrington, All Saints Once had a porch gallery. Similar ones remain at Banwell and Weston-in-Gordano. Gallery across tower arch, constructed "for the accommodation of a first and second flute, and the small boys who sing", removed 1859.  

Chapels which still retain west gallery features or connections

Bath, Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion The Chapel, which houses the Building Gallery, was commissioned by the Countess of Huntingdon in 1765, as one of many chapels she was to have within her Connexion at the end of her life. The Chapel is a beautiful and highly significant building in Bath, being one of the extremely few gothic buildings that were built in the predominantly classical era of the 18th century. 

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