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Churches which still retain west gallery features or connections

Aldeburgh, St Peter & St Paul A spacious 15th C. church. The remains of the dado of the screen has been reused in the west gallery.
Badley, St Mary The unspoilt interior contains 17th C. woodwork in the box-pews.
Battisford, dedication unknown A church serpent is on display here
Barking, St Mary the serpent that was played in the church band, before the influence of the Oxford Movement replaced them with choirs, is still on display in a glass case beside the south porch.
Barningham, St Andrew The church contains 17th C. screen doors, pulpit and tester.
Benhall, St Mary Box-pews, three-decker pulpit, old flooring.
Boxford, St Mary 16th C. west gallery. "The moulded gallery beam and traceried front to the tower arch have frequently been suggested as part of the original rood screen but this is most unlikely as the mouldings of the beam are stopped and run out, and probably the whole gallery, including the braced beam floor, is early 16th C. and in situ." (Cautley)
Bradley Magna, St Mary 18th C. pulpit with tester.
Brent Eleigh, St Mary Pleasing 18th C. interior; box-pews containing 17th C. carving, 17th C. pulpit and altar-table with three sided altar-rails. (CEPC)
Clare, St Peter & St Paul Much 17th C. woodwork, especially in the south aisle gallery, and as at Cavendish, there is a 16th C. lectern designed to be used as a money-box. (CEPC)
Copdock, dedication not known 16th C. west gallery. "In the front of the western gallery are five carved panels, one armorial, one of a lady playing on a harp and one of Edward VI and inscribed with that title." (Cautley)
Cretingham, St Peter 17th C. interior with three-decker pulpit, three-sided Communion rails and altar table; the box-pews are probably 18th C.

Dalham, St Mary 14th C church rebult in 15th C, with gallery and box pews added in the 18th C. Subsequently removed in 1866.

Small Georgian barrel and finger organ dated 1833, restored about 1998?

Dennington, St Mary This wonderful church is chiefly remarkable for its aisle and parclose screens complete with their lofts and parapets.  17th and 18th C. pulpit and box-pews in the nave, together with beautiful 15th C bench-ends, one of which represents a Skiapod, a fabulous human being lying on his back and using his enormous webbed feet as a sunshade.  In the south chapel is a monument with alabaster effigies of Lord Bardolph (who fought in Agincourt) and his wife Joan, Ca. 1450 . . . (CEPC)
Earl Stonham, St Mary This church has a 17th C. pulpit with no less than four hour-glasses The one on a bracket measures a full hour as does the largest of the group of three on a shelf behind the pulpit. The two smaller ones are designed for less formidable exhortations of a quarter and a half-hour in length. (CEPC)
Elmsett, St Peter Three-sided 17th C. Communion rails
Fritton, St Edmund The church contains a three-decker pulpit and altar-table.
*Gislingham, St Mary A well-restored church, in which the 18th C. three-decker pulpit and box-pews on the north side of the nave have fortunately been preserved . . . (CEPC)

(Cautley and Pevsner do not mention gallery.) #
Hacheston, dedication not known "In gallery front are four panels from rood-loft and old carved bosses. In gallery is one bench end and an old charcoal brazier, as at Barking." (Cautley).

(No ref. to gallery in Pevsner.)
Hawkedon, St Mary 17th C. west gallery. "This carefully restored church, in which the west gallery has wisely been retained . . . " (Betjeman) (No ref. in Cautley or Pevsner.)

There are also 17th C. altar-rails, altar table, chair and pulpit.
Ipswich, St Clement Part of the17th C west gallery has been refixed at east end of north aisle.
Ipswich, St Nicholas 14th C. nave, 15th C. aisles and 17th C. pulpit and Communion rails. Part of 17th C. gallery refixed at east end of north aisle.
Kedington, St Peter & St Paul Though a mediaeval fabric with a simple 16th C. hammer-beam roof, the atmosphere of this church is of the 17th and 18th centuries. Much of the beautiful woodwork of that period remains and at that time also parts of a 15th C. screen were worked up into a magnificent canopied pew in the eastermost bay of the north arcade next to the beautiful Jacobean chancel screen. Most beautiful three-sided Communion rails surrounding a sanctuary paved with black-and-white marble in which stands a magnificent altar table, early 17th C. or possibly Elizabethan. A handsome three-decker pulpit and tester with an hour-glass in a stand at the top stage and a wig block at the next, the reading desk, stage. There is a west gallery, ca. 1750, and 18th C. box-pews in the aisles, and the further remains of the furnishing of that period is the fluted design and marbling on the shafts of the piers of both arcades. . . . (CEPC)

18th C. bow-fronted gallery (or circa 1750; Betjeman) early 19th C. projecting in a semicircle. (Pevsner) (No ref. in Cautley.) #

Laxfield, All Saints 17th C pulpit and reading desk.
Livermere Parva , St Peter & St Paul Contains an 18th C. box-pew.
Mendlesham, St Mary Very fine west tower and 17th C. woodwork: pulpit, reading desk and font cover all made by John Turner of Mendlesham in 1630
Mildenhall, St Mary "Without doubt the most splendid of all churches in Suffolk, and in the nave and aisle roofs the marvellous achievement of the Suffolk type of heavy carpentry reached its zenith. Without exaggeration the nave roof is the most wonderful example in existence of the cambered tie-beam construction interspersed with arch-braced hammer-beams. . . . At the north-west extremity of the county the great west tower, 113 ft. high, stands as an impressive landmark across mile upon mile of Fens . . . (CEPC)

First floor of tower was used as minstrels' gallery. Also a gallery in the north porch, open to the church.
*Nayland St James Simple 18th C. west gallery.
Shelland, King Charles the Martyr With box-pews and a three-decker pulpit this little church has one of the most attractive 18th C. interiors in Suffolk. (CEPC) 1820 Barrel Organ surviving intact and playable.
*Thornham Parva, St Mary 14th C. retable with paintings. (CEPC)

18th C. bow-fronted gallery. (No ref. in Cautley or Pevsner.)

Wangford, St Peter 17th C. pulpit and reading desk from Henham Hall.
Wilby, St Mary 17th C. pulpit with tester.
Withersdale, St Mary Magdalene A most lovely little 17th interior with pews, pulpit and tester, altar table and rails complete All a perfect example of an unspoilt village church of the period. (CEPC)   

(No ref. in Betjeman, Cautley or Pevsner.)

Worlingworth, St Mary 17th C. seating, pulpit, and altar table into which has been inserted the mediaeval mensa.
Yaxley, St Mary Here there is a beautiful richly carved pulpit and tester (1635) and a "Sexton's Wheel", not unlike the one at Long Stretton St Mary in Norfolk - a sort of revolving calendar indicating festivals and fasts. (CEPC)

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

Framlingham, St Michael The church contains a magnificent organ by Thamar of Peterborough. (1674). This was originally in the chapel of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and was presented to Framlingham in 1708. It used to stand in the nave in a west gallery which has fortunately been preserved and re-erected in the old poor house buildings - a fine 17th C. block - within the castle walls.
Brent Eleigh, St Mary In 1826 reference was made to a "small gallery" with a "small organ". It was taken down in the early 20th C. See above.
Debenham, St Mary Magnificent west porch; 15th C. nave arcade with hammer-beam and tie-beam roof. In 1736 a large gallery "of deal stained red" was built at the west end to accommodate singers, musicians, and later an organ. It disappeared at the hands of the 19th century "restorers".
Gazeley, All Saints

Originally had a west gallery, we were told by a parishioner.

Chapels which have or had west gallery features or connections

 Walpole, Old Chapel

 Walpole Old Chapel was adapted from a farmhouse, originally built at the end of the 17th century. The galleried and box-pewed interior vividly conveys the setting and atmosphere of 17th- and 18th-century dissenting worship. Three tall circular timber columns supports the roof but the focus of the interior is the pulpit which has an immense hexagonal canopy with an ogee domed top and a ball finial suspended from the rafters. Two tall round arched windows on each side of the pulpit light the chapel. The American reed organ was most probably manufactured at the end of the 19th-century. See the Historic Chapels Trust web site at, to whom we are indebted for this information. 

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,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -