Old Box pews in St. Mary's, Badley

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Comments (18)

Steven Stoddart on May 22, 2011

The box pews you see here date from the 17th century and 'rented' by the wealthier members of the congregation. The more lowly devotees sat in ordinary pews and weathered the mighty draughts that often pervaded these old Churches.

BritPlom on May 24, 2011

excellent tonemapped HDR photo!

The adjustments you made are somehow your signature: low staturation and contrast.

Vey sharp photo. Like

Greetings François

lozpet on May 25, 2011

Be careful Steve, after taking so many photo's of churches lately you may be in danger of joining the priesthood :-)) Another beauty, LIKE, LOZ

Steven Stoddart on May 25, 2011

Hi there François A "signature" photo? I have not had one of those before :-) Thank you, François, I appreciate the comment!



Hello Loz A career in the Church?? Ooh.. there is no danger of that... I have all editions of the Viz Profanosaurus... If you have not heard of it before, then I reckon the title tells you all you need to know... Hardly the publication found on the bookshelf of the Archbishop of Canterbury!

Still, the thought brought a smile to my face!!

Thanks for the like :-)



Cindy Breen on May 28, 2011

Beautiful Steve love the colours as well

Take care Marion

Cindy Breen on May 28, 2011

Like Loz's comment she walk in a church it would collapse on her with shock :-))

Steven Stoddart on May 28, 2011

Hiya Marion! Chuffed you liked this, Marion... thank you.. As for your second comment, it sounds like my reference to the "Profanosaurus" would not phase her much.....



Closed on June 2, 2011

Lovely interior views into St. Mary's SuperSteve!!

I like them both!

Great information you have here too! I'd often wondered about these boxes and why they were there... I always just thought that maybe they were for the choir... or deacons or something.. Thank you for telling me!

Happy wishes, GG:)

Steven Stoddart on June 3, 2011

Hiya GG! Deacons possibly... but if there was a choir then I reckon they were squeezed between the Box pews and the Altar.

When I first saw 'Box Pews', I had a very weird thought.. All I could think of was Noah... and these were readymade boats that the well-heeled could pop into and float off should him upstairs decide he wants a re-run of "the big flood"...

I think I need to get out more....

Glad you liked these :-)



Meanwhile us peasants would be hangin' onto the ordinary pews...

Steven Stoddart on June 5, 2011

Hiya Karin "2"!! This Church is no longer used as a place of worship... so said the notice on the door. To my delight, the door was unlocked and I later found out a conservation trust looks after this place and opens the door to visitors at the weekend..

So here we were on a lovely sunny day with the sun streaming into the west window.

It is a tiny Church but so good to be in.

So glad you liked this photo... and grateful too for the like and YS :-)



Jim Evans (AXOTA) on June 7, 2011

Absolutely first class HDR Steve! I have enjoyed looking at the detail and in particular, the interesting history relating to the box pews!

The conservation trust is a national organisation that is concerned in securing the future of these beautiful old churches that are no longer in use.

The old St Stephens church here is under the protection of that organisation too! It is also open to the public on most days of the week..The local villagers are intent on caring for the fabric of the church as well as the grounds and gravestones.

The box pews you mention are/were a common feature of the county churches and as you said, only those with wealth and influence were allotted such prominence!

The St Mary's parish church in my home town photos just here, has a very elaborate system of box pews, each one has the name of the occupier painted on the little entry door to each pew..thus ensuring that no interloper/incomer would dare to enter what was in fact, forbidden territory!

Thanks for sharing these beautifully presented pics Steve ;)

Kind regards!


Steven Stoddart on June 7, 2011

Hi there Jim :-) Grand to see you have stopped by - it has been a while! I was beginning to think the accusations of "curmudgeon" had rankled...:-)

So shuffed you have enjoyed this as much as you have.. I tend to use HDR as a means to exposure blend more than anything.. I also turn down the volume on the saturation a bit because, personally, I feel HDR can over do it a bit.

To find this place open was such a lovely surprise. I went round and round the outside of the building before realising the place was open.. And then to see the inside. Lovely.

Thanks for the links to the Churches in your neck of the woods... I have checked out the Fylingdales Church.. As for your St. Mary's, when we were staying in Yorkshire a couple fo years ago, we spent time at the old Abbey (of course) and at St. Mary's. No joy when it came to checking it out - it was locked...

As for posting these photo's, the pleasure was mine!

Thanks everso for your encouraging comments about this..


els f on June 12, 2011

love the way how you present this beautiful interior of the church.. very modest mood... i like it alot! have a nice sunday, Steve!

Steven Stoddart on June 12, 2011

Hello Els :-) Grand to see you have stopped by...

I find these wee Churches so captivating... I guess the small Churches are easier to imagine being part of local life... and being part of a real community.

This one, like many other in the UK are no longer used as a formal place of worship - but they are looked after by a Conservation society that maintains them and keeps them open.

Oh, how I would love to be set the task of photographing all of them!

So glad you liked it :-)



Itallica on June 25, 2011

Nice comp.

Steven Stoddart on June 25, 2011

Hiya Tery ;-) I love old places like these.. This one is about 1 kilometre from the road so is rarely visited... To sit here, in such an old Church was very restful...

I am glad you like it!



joyfotos on July 4, 2011

So simple, so beautiful, so lovingly photographed! Like!

Steven Stoddart on July 5, 2011

Hiya Joy - This lovely little Church was such a find... I learned about it from chatting with a lady while she was walking her dog... "In the middle of nowhere" she said and she was right...

When we reached the Church, it looked abandoned... but to my surprise, it was was far from abandoned. I don't think it is used as place of worship... but it is open on weekends... Inside was a dream.

Chuffed you liked this series....



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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 22, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Steven Stoddart
    • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    • Taken on 2011/05/21 18:06:14
    • Exposure: 4.000s
    • Focal Length: 16.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/22.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100