Pews in a Victorian church

The parish church of St Mary at Andover was built between 1840 and 1846, partly on the site of the medieval parish church and at the sole expense of Dr Goddard, a former headmaster of Winchester School. The church is in the Early English Gothic style, with much of its architectural language derived from Salisbury Cathedral. The design was provided by the young architect Augustus Livesay, who was assisted in the later stages by Sydney Smirke. The spectacular interior was completely refitted in the 1870s by the architect William White, who formed a choir, replaced all the original pews with benches and provided a new font and pulpit. In the 1960s the font was moved and in the 1980s the interior was reordered and all the pews detached from their platforms. Proposals put forward in 2019 to adapt the interior further included the return of the font to its original position but also the removal of most of White's nave benches. AHP prepared a Statement of Significance to inform the proposals, partly as a result of which the church was upgraded to II*. Neil Burton, a director of AHP, was subsequently an expert witness at a Consistory Court hearing in 2020, when a faculty was granted for most of the work.