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the new choir stalls. Against the eastern beam of the original
rood loft have been fixed at a later date the rich returned
stalls with their panelling which forms the second portion of the
double screen.
All the panels of this second screen, which stands across the
chancel with their tracery, have been hacked out. The rebutting
for the panels and stumps of the tracery remain broken off, and
between the two screens the ceiling is plastered. The space
between the two screens, measuring three feet eight inches in
width, has been converted into two pews. The southern pew is
lined with good Elizabethan panelling with a nicely carved top
rail, and the door has turned round heads and a brass plate with
the letter P, and an earl's coronet evidences the Earl of Powis
as its owner. The northern pew is partly lined with a few scraps
of panelling and the door has a carved panelled top. There is
abundant evidence that this screen was originally not open but
solid in the same style as the remainder of this panelling over
the stalls on the north side of the chancel.
The fact that this eastern part of the double screen was once
solid upholds the local tradition that the second screen and stalls
were brought from the Priory of Chirbury after the dissolution of
the Priory by Henry VIII and the consequent destruction of the
choir of the Monastery. In a Monastic church if also a parish
church the choir, as being the Monastic portion of the church,
would be entirely cut off from the nave or parish portion by a
solid narrow screen against the eastern side of which the Monks'
stalls would be returned." The western face of the whole of
this second screen indicates clearly that it formerly stood against
a wall.13
( To be continued).
13 The width of Montgomery church and Chirbury church is about 27
feet.
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