The balcony runs the whole length of the north and west walls of the church. Our church is Grade 2* listed. The listing states that we have large galleries and that to the north is behind a 6 bay Doric arcade. This arcade contributes to the Georgian Style of St. Mary’s.
In December 1815, it was decided at a Vestry Meeting (probably the Vicar and the Wardens) that the walls of the church should be raised to a sufficient height convenient to put up a gallery. Expenses were heavy, for example Thomas Dean was paid £38.4s 6d for mason work and £2. 4s.0d was paid for 88 days of “drinkings” for the workmen. The total cost of the work appears to have been £352. 4s. 8d. Given all this work the Village of Newchurch must have been a scene of great activity. The church rate paid for most of this work and other money was provided by the persons to whom the pews in the gallery were allotted. The fact the gallery was needed indicates a good congregation.
This is the view from the gallery. Sitting on the front row of the gallery requires a degree of care! The gallery is still used, mainly for weddings and funerals. This part of the gallery is tiered to allow those seated at the back to have a better view.
The part of the gallery adjoining the west wall and the tower houses the organ.
(For more about the organ see 14 Organ.) This part of the gallery is supported by very large beams which run from the wall to the edge of the gallery were they in turn are supported on iron pillars painted to match the grain of the wooden panelling.