A rare find!
A 16th Century style, 19th Century made, English antique oak church pew end originating from Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge situated opposite Cambridge University.
Understood to date to circa 1863 where it was originally used to replace Georgian box pews in the nave, it was removed from the church during the 1950s when two rows of pews were removed from the front and back of the nave.*
With typical East Anglian “poppy finial” and a wonderfully carved dragon to the elbow!
This displays very well.
*Our thanks go to Mr R Summers, Church Operations Manager at Great St Mary’s Church for providing the information regarding the origin of this pew end. Images 5 and 6 show other carved pews of similar design in situ in the church.
Background and History of Great St. Mary’s Church:
The 13th-century church was destroyed by fire in 1290 and had to be completely rebuilt. The church was initially owned by the crown, but in 1342 it was granted to King’s Hall, and later to Trinity College, which still owns it.
Throughout the medieval period and beyond, Great St Mary’s served as an official meeting place for debates and meetings. This role was taken over in 1730 by the new Senate House, built across the street.
The church as we see it today was largely built between 1478-1519 and was financed primarily by Richard III and Henry VII. The tower, which is the church’s most impressive feature, was not finished until 1608. Before the tower was built, bells were hung on a wooden contraption in the churchyard.
In 1724 the Society of Cambridge Youths was created to be responsible for organising bell-ringing. Still in operation, the Society is the oldest bell-ringing society in Britain and the second oldest in the world. The earliest known pattern of ringing is the ‘Cambridge Quarters’, first heard in 1516 and later used as the ‘Westminster Chimes’ of Big Ben.
Size: Height 151 cm (59 1/2″) x Width 48.3 cm (19″) max x Depth 7 cm (2 3/4″)
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We are a member of the following 3 Professional Institutions:
1. LAPADA (London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association) – LAPADA is the UK’s largest trade association for professional art & antique dealers (representing approximately 500 UK dealer members). All items are backed by our LAPADA guarantee.
2. CINOA – CINOA is the world association of Art & Antique dealer associations (representing 5000 dealers from 32 associations in 22 countries).
3. The Norfolk & Suffolk Antique Dealers Association.
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