Art and Culture Music

Serpents at the church

One of the recent recordings by the quire Image: LGQ

West Gallery Church Music is what you would have heard in many churches up and down the country before it was common for churches to have their own organs.

There is a rare chance to hear west gallery music played live at Enfield’s St Andrew’s church on 27 October, when the London Gallery Quire give an evening performance.

The event is one in a series to support the restoration of St Andrew’s  C18th organ, which is being taken away to Liverpool in a few months for a complete overhaul.  “So we will be playing music to restore the organ, which was exactly the music that the organ replaced!” laughed David Holliday, one of the church organists showing visitors around the church as part of last weekend’s Open House .

West Gallery Church music is so described because it was often performed by a band of singers and instrumentalists from a gallery at the west end of a church. Explains the Quire’s website.

“It differs markedly from cathedral music, both in style and function. It was written for and in many cases by amateur musicians; professional performance was not usually envisaged. Much of the repertoire consists of settings of the metrical psalms; there are also hymns, anthems and canticles.

The music is often of a very lively and joyful nature; too lively indeed for the reformers of the mid-19th Century Oxford Movement, who sought to replace it with the more staid and solemn repertoire typified by Hymns Ancient and Modern”.

History Uncategorized

Enfield opens its doors

London Open House runs again on the weekend of 22 and 23rd September, and is a brilliant opportunity to see London’s best kept secrets and nose around some of its most famous buildings.

Enfield will have 13 properties opening over the weekend

  • Enfield Town Library. Built in 1912 and reopened after restoration in 2010 with a new glass extension, the Library won a London Planning Award for best built project.
  • The Chickenshed Theatre. Purpose built theatre facilities
  • The Friends Meeting House and Burial Grounds – dating from 1790
  • George V Pumping Station – designed to pump water from the River Lee into the George V reservoir
  • Lee Valley Athletics Centre – state of the art and sustainable sports facilities
  • Myddleton House – home of the great plantsman E A Bowles
  • North London Hospice Building in Barrowell Green – just recently opened state of the art facilities
  • The parish church of St Andrew Enfield – dating from the 13th century, one of the very oldest buildings in the borough
  • North London Priory Hospital – fantastic grade 1 listed building overlooking Grovelands Park
  • The Royal Small Arms Factory
  • St Mary Magdelaine Church in Windmill Hill – an example of the Victorian gothic
  • 11 Second Avenue, Bush Hill Park – timber clad garden studio and refurbishment of a victorian house, with gardens

If you would like to stay local but venture a little further, there is the wonderful Studio A and theatre at Alexandra Palace and the Muswell Hill Odeon – both worth a look.

Some events require pre booking and not all venues are open both days, so check before setting out. Venues can be busy and the London Open House website has also been experiencing a few glitches, so don’t delay planning your day.

Are there any buildings in Palmers Green  you would like to see opened for Open House day?

Enfield’s 13th century St Andrew’s church (c) London Open House