The pictures shown below are presented, as far as possible, in chronological order, in order to tell the story of the church. The pictures are in our archives but most are not labelled; the captions are therefore based on deductions. We would appreciate additional historical information.
An etching showing the church from the north west which, judging by the absence of a church-yard north wall, probably dates from before 1800. The classical feature in the middle of the north aisle looks like an entrance porch, though it is not shown on the pre-1862 plan shown below.
An etching showing Dame Duffins Cottage, which is believed to have looked like this around 1820, when the churchyard had acquired a north wall. It was originally a chapel related to Ann Boleyn's well, given to the parish in 1497 by Nicholas Gainsford .
This is a plan (source unknown) of the church in its pre-1862 condition, showing the likely ages of the various parts. The tower, being the earliest part of the building, is on a different alignment from the rest if the building.
A painting showing showing the church from the north west. A house has been built to the right of the picture, and according to Wikipedia the bridge was built over the ponds in 1828. The present bridge is shown in another picture.
In the 1880s plans were developed for rebuilding the church. They started by making a plan of it as it was, shown here. This plan was applicable from 1862–1891. The spiral staircases flanking the entrance led to a gallery at the west end.
A photo of the church interior published in 1882, contemporary with the plan above. The altar reredos frames the Ten Commandments boards that are now beside the high altar. Here is the corresponding exterior view.
A view of the church from the south west dated 1894. The nave has been rebuilt, as seen by the changed appearance of the central section of the west end. Another view shows the church in the same era, seen from the north-west.
A photo showing the chancel interior before the rood screen was installed. Open flame gas lights can just be seen projecting from the string course above the organ opening. It appears that the photo was taken on the installation of the "Cokayne Memorial Stalls" in 1895. A memorial (photo) records the untimely death of Fr Cokayne. The stalls are now in the Lady Chapel.
By 1911 an elaborate carved (but not yet gilded) rood flanked by statues had been added to the chancel arch, lower than they are now.
Another view which appears to be contemporary with it shows a mixture of conventional pews and individual wooden chairs.
A view of the interior of the baptistery when new in 1914. This was before the organ gallery was added, and before stained glass windows were installed. The font appears to have an ornate cover, which is presumably the one referred to in the brass plaque at its foot.
By 1914 a rood screen had been added, designed by Bodley, but was at this stage in plain wood colour and lower than it is now. During the First World War a sword was mounted to the right of the screen and, as another view shows, home-made shades were fitted to the gas lights, perhaps in an attempt to achieve a blackout.
The external web-site "britain from above" has an aerial photo of the church and its surroundings taken in 1921. The graveyard was then barely half its present size.
A 1928 view of the nave and screen which was still in its original form. The pulpit has been moved to its present position on the first pillar but it looks lower than it is now, and has no canopy. The open flame gas lights have been replaced by more efficient ones using mantles. Lighting these required two people, one to turn on the taps under the tower, and one to stand on a chair with a long taper to light any that did not come on.
In 1936 the 17th century Lady Chapel reredos was gilded and decorated to a design by
Sir Ninian Comper.
This 1940 view shows the rood screen and statues as raised by Sir Ninian Comper in 1931–1933, but the pulpit has not yet been raised and fitted with a canopy, and nor has the "Christ in Majesty" figure been installed over the chancel arch.
Also in 2005 new dimmable lighting was installed. In 2004 the choir pews were moved from the chancel to the Lady Chapel, and in 2006 the old chairs were replaced with stackable benches which present a better appearance and accommodate more people.
In March 2012 the pipe organ was dismantled and taken to Willis's factory near Liverpool for rebuilding. The refurbished organ, though incomplete, was first played in public worship at solemn evensong on 26 January 2014.
On 26 January 2014 the Rector, Fr John Thewlis, was made an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral. Fr John is second from right in this picture, alongside five other new Canons and Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, and Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of the cathedral.
On 12 February 2015 there was a Requiem Mass funeral for Audrey Wall, who had worshipped at All Saints for many years. Her coffin was taken away in a fine horse-drawn hearse. The figures on the left are Fr David Billin and Alison Cavendish.
On 15 July 2017 Fr John Thewlis undertook his last public duty as Rector, blessing the new war memorial at Wrythe Green. Picture courtesy of Nigel Steward