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Holt Antiques at Walsingham Mill

Ex Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge - A Fine 16th Century Style, Mid-19th Century Made, English Antique Carved Oak Church Pew End with Poppy Finial and Dragon-Carved Elbow

Ex Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge - A Fine 16th Century Style, Mid-19th Century Made, English Antique Carved Oak Church Pew End with Poppy Finial and Dragon-Carved Elbow

Regular price $2,915.00 USD
Regular price $2,915.00 USD Sale price $2,915.00 USD
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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 largest church in Cambridge serves a dual purpose as the city's church and that of Cambridge University. During the medieval period, it served as a meeting hall for the University and the annual conferment of degrees ceremony was held here until the Senate House was erected across the road in 1730.
Somewhat interchangeably called Great St Mary's or St Mary the Great - to distinguish it from St Mary the Less near Peterhouse - this large and imposing building has stood in the centre of Cambridge for over 800 years. Great St Mary's, or GSM as it is often known, was the first home of Cambridge University. It hosted lectures and held ceremonies for conferring degrees after scholars from Oxford began to congregate here in 1209. The church was barely finished by then; the first record comes from 1205 when King John presented the rector.

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.

Condition of the pew end - as per the images. There is a loss to the rear wing of the dragon and the pew has a dry surface verso. This pew end displays very well and would look great mounted on a wall.

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 –Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d'Art, (or International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations) is the world association of art & antique dealer associations (representing 5000 dealers from 32 associations in 22 countries); and

3. The Norfolk & Suffolk Antique Dealers Association - Representing reputable, high quality antiques dealers based in Norfolk and Suffolk.

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