All Saints Notting Hill

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All Saints Notting Hill
Illustration of the interior of the newly completed All Saints Notting Hill
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo-Catholic
Dedication All Saints
Associated people Walter Passmore
Architect(s) William White, with Sir George Gilbert Scott
Style Victorian Gothic
Diocese London
Vicar(s) Fr John Brownsell
Engraving of William White's design for All Saints Notting Hill, complete with spire
All Saints Notting Hill photographed from the garden of Pinehurst Court in 2007.

All Saints Notting Hill is a Victorian Anglican church in Talbot Road, Notting Hill, London. It is a Grade II* listed building, built of stone with polychrome decoration in the Victorian gothic style. The west tower has five stages with the stump of a spire, and the sanctuary features paintings by Henry Holiday.[1] The church was badly damaged by enemy action during World War II but was fully restored by 1951.


Construction on All Saints church was originally begun in the mid-19th century by the Reverend Dr Samuel Walker, following designs by architect William White, working with Sir George Gilbert Scott.[2] The church was to be the centerpiece of the development now known as Colville and Powis Squares. Walker was deeply religious and his vision was for a free and open church for the newly built neighbourhood.[2] He experienced financial difficulties and was eventually declared bankrupt. The building was left unfinished for several years, lacking a spire, and remaining unfurnished, during which time it became known as All-Sinners-in-the-Mud.[3] It was eventually completed in 1861, by The Rev. John Light of Trinity College Dublin, at a cost of £25,000.[4] The spire envisioned in White's original designs was never completed.[2]

The tower is 100 feet high and is said to resemble the medieval Belfry of Bruges, Belgium.[5]

Walter Passmore (1867–1946), the singer and actor best known for his comic baritone roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, was a choirboy at All Saints.[6]

World War II and The Blitz[edit]

The church suffered from severe bomb damage in World War II during The Blitz, along with neighbouring buildings such as Pinehurst Court, at 1-9 Colville Gardens. The first bombs fell on 26 September 1940, and the church was hit again in March and June 1944. The Lady chapel and the south transept chapel were destroyed.[2] Restoration work was eventually completed in 1951.

From 1931-1961, the vicar was the flamboyant Fr John Twisaday, who established a tradition of "high church" worship at All Saints, which to some extent continues to this day.


The present vicar is Fr John Brownsell, inducted in 1976.[7]

Former Vicars[edit]

  • 1861-1885 Fr John Light
  • 1885-1896 Fr Robert Trench
  • 1896-1907 Fr Philip Herbert Learyk
  • 1907-1931 Fr Herbert Ridley
  • 1932-1961 Fr John Herbert Cloete Twisaday
  • 1961-1966 Fr John Herbert Brewer
  • 1966-1967 Fr John Henry Dixon
  • 1967-1974 Fr Peter Clerk


  • The Portobello and St. Quintin estates, Survey of London: volume 37: Northern Kensington, F H W Shepherd (General Editor) (1973)
  • Barbara Denny, Notting Hill and Holland Park Past, Historical Publications, 1993. ISBN 0-948667-18-4
  • Mitton, Geraldine Edith, The Kensington District, Project Gutenberg, 30 May 2007 [EBook #21643]


  1. ^ All Saints church at Images of England Retrieved 20 February 2010
  2. ^ a b c d Denny, p70.
  3. ^ History of the Portobello and St Quintin Estates, FHW Shepherd (General Editor) Retrieved 20 February 2010
  4. ^ The Illustrated London News, 8 Sept. 1866, p.245 Retrieved 20 February 2010
  5. ^ Mitton, 97
  6. ^ Gilbert and Sullivan archive Retrieved 20 February 2010
  7. ^ Official All Saints website Retrieved 20 February 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′59″N 0°12′10″W / 51.5165°N 0.2029°W / 51.5165; -0.2029