All Saints Carshalton

The C of E parish church of central Carshalton, Surrey, England
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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.

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1750ish etching 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.

1820ish etching 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 [1].

1826 interior looking east A water­colour painting dated 1826 showing showing the interior looking east through the foot of the tower into what is now the Lady Chapel.

1826 interior looking east A water­colour painting dated 1826 showing showing the interior looking west from the foot of the tower, showing a gallery round three sides.

1860 historical plan 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.

1830ish painting 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.

1870ish etching An etching showing showing the church from the north west. The fire engine house has been built into the churchyard wall where Dame Duffin's Cottage stood.

1885ish building plan 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.

1890ish photo The earliest known photo of the church, perhaps from 1890, from the north west. This is after the reconstruction of most of the building.

1894 photo 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.

1895 photo 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.

1903 postcard A picture postcard sent in 1903 showing the church from the north. The message is alongside the picture because at this time only the address was allowed to appear on the other side.

Another picture from around 1908 Another view of the chancel just after the installation of suspended gas lighting around 1907.

pre 1908 extension picture A picture of the south elevation before the 1908 extension.

New altar reredos in 1908 The high altar reredos was dedicated on 20 May 1908.

A picture from around 1910 In 1908 the nave was extended by two bays; this picture may date from around 1910. The houses in front of the church were demolished in the mid 20th century.

Another picture from around 1910 This cottage, but not the thatched shed, still stands to the south east of the church and has no road access. This series of pictures dates from around 1910.

A picture from 1911 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.

Rector and servers in 1912 Fr Vaux and the servers in 1912.

Rector and choir, undated - 1913?Fr Vaux and the choir, undated, perhaps 1913.

1920s picture In 1914 a baptistery was built on the east end. It looks quite new in this 1920's
street scene
viewed from the north west, as it does in this view from the graveyard.

West interior in 1914 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.

A picture from about 1920 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 more clearly, home-made shades were fitted to the gas lights, perhaps as a primitive 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 picture from 1928 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 original open flame gas lights have been replaced by more efficient ones using mantles. Lighting these required two people, one to operate the taps under the tower, and one to go round with a chair and a long taper lighting any that did not come on.

A burial in 1933 Fr Corbould presiding at a burial in 1933.

1936 photo of lady altar In 1936 the 17th century Lady Chapel reredos was gilded and decorated to a design by
Sir Ninian Comper.

1930s photo In 1937 a new section of the graveyard was cleared to the west of the older part. This photo appears to show a wood being felled where the "new graveyard" is now.

1940 photo 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.

1940 photo This 1940 view shows the rood screen and statues from the baptistery. The new organ gallery has not yet been decorated and is in plain plaster finish.

1962 electric lightingElectric lights were installed in 1962 in memory of Fr Corbould who died in 1959.

1960s baptism Fr Edwards presiding at a baptism in the 1960s.

Church hall The parish used to have a church hall.

hall ruins 2003 In March 2003 the church hall burned down, and was not replaced.

Original website In 2005 the parish acquired a virtual presence in the form of its first website. This was a good start but had limited scope for adaptation and expansion, so the present format was adopted in 2011 and is still being developed.

New benches 2006 Also in 2005 new dimmable lighting was installed. In 2004 the choir pews had been moved from the chancel to the Lady Chapel, and in 2006 the remaining old chairs were replaced with stackable benches which present a better appearance and accommodate more people.

New toilets 2007 In July 2007 toilets were installed at All Saints for the first time in its history.

Organ repairs 2012 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.

Canon John Thewlis 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.

Audrey Wall's funeral 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 Revd David Billin and Alison Cavendish.


  1. The Book of Carshalton: At the Source of the Wandle, based on talks by Michael Wilks, edited by Stella Wilks and Gordon Rookledge (Tiverton: Halsgrove 2002) ISBN 84114 1550, page 129

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