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Church of All Saints, Lewisham

Description: Church of All Saints

Grade: II
Date Listed: 30 August 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 203425

OS Grid Reference: TQ3590971381
OS Grid Coordinates: 535909, 171381
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4251, -0.0466

Location: Knighton Park Road, Lewisham, Greater London SE26 5JX

Locality: Lewisham
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: SE26 5JX

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Listing Text



MATERIALS: Red brick with stone dressings. Yellow stock brick to the entrance area. Clay tiled roof. Slate hanging on W wall and slate roof to the lean-to entrance.

PLAN: Nave with projecting entrance area, chancel, aisles, N vestries/organ chamber.

EXTERIOR: This church was never completed at the W end and the `temporary┬┐ W frontage presents itself to the road. This has slate hanging on the nave gable and a lean-to entrance area with a central doorway and two flanking lancet windows either side. The W walls of the aisles are blind and have keying to take further brick structures that have never been built. The nave is of three bays and its aisles have transverse gables to each bay. The E end of the church is tall but is not open to view. The fenestration in the E wall is split into three components in the way that was favoured by some architects about 1900: it has a 1-3-1-light configuration with Decorated tracery in the heads. The aisle windows are tall and have two lights with tracery of c.1300. There is no nave clerestory but the sanctuary has high-set single light windows to the sides.

INTERIOR: The interior is a total contrast to the cheaply finished-off W elevation and is a fine example of a fin-de-siecle Anglo-Catholic church-building, confidently composed and focusing on the raised altar at the E end. It has restrained structural polychromy, mainly red brick, but this is enlivened by limestone dressings and yellow brick. The nave has three bays and the arcade arches have red and yellow brick polychromy and sturdy octagonal red-brick piers with a band of limestone: the moulding of the arches die into the piers which was a popular feature of the late Gothic Revival. Wall-shafts rise from corbels at the level of the springing of the arches. In the sanctuary there are large expanses of bare red brick but below the level of the side windows are three rectangular rendered panels on each side which appear to have been intended for a decorative scheme. The sanctuary has a series of steps up to the high altar and is laid with black and white marble. On the N side of the chancel two depressed polychrome arches lead to a passage above which is the organ chamber. The chancel roof is a keeled wooden one, that in the nave semi-circular. The nave has wood-block floors. At the W end of the nave a small chapel and parish room were created behind a neo-Gothic screen in the 1990s: between them runs the corridor to the W entrance of the church.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: All Saints' church contains one of its architect's majestic hallmark stone screens in the chancel arch, a type derived from the medieval examples at Great Bardfield and Stebbing in Essex. It stands on a low, solid screen with quatrefoil details and two moulded piers form mullions which rise vertically to the head of the arch. There is a transom at the springing of the arch below which is cusped tracery work. Above there is more elaborate tracery where the three lights contain rood figures. At the base of the screen are fine iron screens and gates. To the S of the chancel arch is a fine First World War memorial wall tablet in marble and alabaster. A foundation stone is built in to the E end of the N aisle. The pulpit is a fairly conventional piece with open traceried sides and standing on stone columns. The nave is seated with chairs. At the W end of the N aisle the octagonal font is a rather anachronistic piece: the ornate foliage capitals and marble shafts to the base are high Victorian rather than of c.1900: the bowl is decorated with quatrefoils. A modern stone altar stands forward from the chancel arch on three stone steps. The vestries each contain an attractive brown tiled fire surround.

HISTORY: The foundation stone was laid on 2 November 1901 and the church was consecrated in 1903. The builder was Goddard and Sons. The architect, George Halford Fellowes Prynne (1853-1927), left England for Canada in 1871 where he became a pupil of Richard Windeyer (c.1830-1900) of Toronto from 1872 to 1875 when he returned to England and became an improver in the office of G E Street. He then worked with other architects until setting up in independent practice in 1879. His main output was as a church architect. He was well-regarded and was diocesan architect for Oxford from 1913. A particular hallmark of his is the use of stone screens in chancel arches, as here at All Saints. The first of these was at All Saints, Rosendale Road, Brixton (1891, destroyed by fire): his finest is that at St Peter, Staines (1894).

Basil F L Clarke, Parish Churches of London, 1966, p 248.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, 1983, p 413.
Antonia Brodie et al., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, vol 2, 2001, pp 417-18.

The church of All Saints, Lewisham, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Although incomplete it is a fine church designed for Anglo-Catholic worship by a leading late C19/early C20 church architect.
* It contains a fine example of one of the architect┬┐s characteristic stone screens.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.