All Saints' Church, Petersham, London

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For the church in Sydney, Australia, see All Saints Anglican Church, Petersham.
former All Saints' Church, Petersham
51°26′37″N 0°18′00″W / 51.4436°N 0.3001°W / 51.4436; -0.3001Coordinates: 51°26′37″N 0°18′00″W / 51.4436°N 0.3001°W / 51.4436; -0.3001
OS grid reference TQ 183 730
Location Bute Avenue, Petersham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, TW10 7AX
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Founded 1899
Founder(s) Rachael Laetitia Ward[1]
Dedicated 1909
Consecrated never consecrated
Status ceased to be used as a church in 1986
Functional status now a private residence
Architect(s) John Kelly[2]
Architectural type Romanesque Revival[1]
Completed 1909
Diocese Southwark
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name Church of All Saints, Bute Avenue
Designated 25 June 1983
Reference no. 1065334

All Saints' Church, Petersham in Bute Avenue, Petersham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is a Grade II listed[3] former church which is now used as a private residence.

History and description[edit]

The church hall, now used as Petersham's village hall

Designed by Leeds architect John Kelly, the church was commissioned in 1899 by Rachel Laetitia Warde (née Walker) (1841–1906)[4] to accommodate the expected suburban expansion of Petersham[5] and as a memorial to her parents, using funds from the estate of her father Samuel Walker (1812–98)[6] who had died the previous year. However, she died three years before it was finished and the project was completed by her son Lionel[1] (1876–1963).[7]

The church, with a separate church hall and institute[2] (which is also Grade II listed)[8] was erected in the grounds of Bute House (previously the residence of British Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute,[9] and which was demolished in 1908). It was built in red brick and terracotta[2] in the style of a basilica.[1] The campanile (bell tower) is 118 feet high[1] and overlooks Richmond Park. Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner described the architectural style as "Emphatically Italian Early Christian or Romanesque", the interior as "lavish" and the baptistery as "quite exceptional".[2] The nave had a grey and white marble central aisle taken from Tournai Cathedral in Belgium.[1]

The church was never consecrated as the anticipated growth in Petersham's population never took place.[5] However, it was used occasionally by the parish and also by the Greek Orthodox Church.[5] It continued to be used for weddings until 1981 but ceased to be used as a church in 1986.[10]

During the Second World War it was requisitioned and used as a radar and anti-aircraft command post.[11][12][13] It was also used as a recording studio[14] and as a location for filming.[1] In January 1976 Luciano Pavarotti recorded his best-selling O Holy Night album (reissued as a CD in 1990) in the church.[15] Other recordings made at the church include an album of songs by Alexander Borodin and Alexander Dargomizhsky, performed by Sergei Leiferkus, Semion Skigin and Leonid Gorokhov,[16] and recordings by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music.[17]

The Anglican Diocese of Southwark sold the church building in about 1996.[10] It is now a private residence, known as All Saints House, and has been converted to include an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and steam room.[1] The church hall is now used as Petersham's village hall.[18] The frieze above the hall's front entrance has the inscription "AD 1900. Ellen Walker Thy Kingdom Come. Memorial Church Room".[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Volunteer Support Group (2013). The Building of a Borough. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. pp. 18–20. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 514. ISBN 0-14-0710-47-7. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of All Saints, Bute Avenue (1080834)". National Heritage List for England. 
  4. ^ "Laetitia Rachael Warde (born Walker)". MyHeritage. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Ham and Petersham – All Saints' Church". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sammual Walker". MyHeritage. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Lionel Warde". MyHeritage. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Historic England. "Petersham Church Room (1080835)". National Heritage List for England. 
  9. ^ Malden, H E (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Petersham". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Victoria County History. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Petersham, All Saints" (PDF). Former places of worship in the Diocese of Southwark. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. July 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Lee, J M (2011). Petersham: radar and operational research 1940-1946. Richmond Local History Society. ISBN 978-0-95507-17-7-5. 
  12. ^ Lee, Michael. "Second World War". Petersham Village. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "What role did Petersham's All Saints church play in World War Two?". Richmond History: Journal of the Richmond Local History Society. 28. 2007. ISSN 0263-0958. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Obituary: Keith Grant". The Daily Telegraph. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "O Holy Night / Luciano Pavarotti". ArkivMusic. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Songs Of Borodin & Dargomizhsky". ArkivMusic. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Christopher Hogwood: Recordings". Christopher Hogwood. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "About the Village Hall". Petersham Village. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]