All Saints' Church, Petersham, London

former All Saints' Church, Petersham
Former church of All Saints, Bute Avenue, Petersham (geograph 1787040).jpg
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 referenceTQ 183 730
LocationBute Avenue, Petersham, Richmond TW10 7AX (London Borough of Richmond upon Thames)
DenominationChurch of England
Statusceased to be used as a church in 1986
Founder(s)Rachael Laetitia Ward[1]
Consecratednever consecrated
Functional statusnow a private residence
Architect(s)John Kelly[2]
Architectural typeRomanesque Revival[1]
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameChurch of All Saints, Bute Avenue
Designated25 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

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) to accommodate the expected suburban expansion of Petersham[4] and as a memorial to her parents, using funds from the estate of her father Samuel Walker (1812–1898) 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).

The church, with a separate church hall and institute[2] (which is also Grade II listed)[5] was erected in the grounds of Bute House (previously the residence of British Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute,[6] 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 "[e]mphatically 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 did not take place.[4] However, it was used occasionally by the parish and also by the Greek Orthodox Church.[4] It continued to be used for weddings until 1981 but ceased to be used as a church in 1986.[7]

During the Second World War it was requisitioned and used as a radar and anti-aircraft command post.[8][9][10] It was also used as a recording studio[11] 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.[12] Other recordings made at the church include an album of songs by Alexander Borodin and Alexander Dargomizhsky, performed by Sergei Leiferkus, and Leonid Gorokhov,[13] and recordings by John McCabe[14] and by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music.[15] Other artists who have recorded there include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dimitri Ashkenazy, and Vovka Ashkenazy.

The Anglican Diocese of Southwark sold the church building in about 1996.[7] 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.[16] The frieze above the hall's front entrance has the inscription "AD 1900. Ellen Walker Thy Kingdom Come. Memorial Church Room".[5]


  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.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of All Saints, Bute Avenue (1080834)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Gascoigne, Bamber and Blomfield, David. "Ham and Petersham – All Saints' Church". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 14 September 2016.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b Historic England. "Petersham Church Room (1080835)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  6. ^ Malden, H E (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Petersham". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Victoria County History. Retrieved 19 April 2013.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Lee, J M (2011). Petersham: radar and operational research 1940–1946. Richmond Local History Society. ISBN 978-0-95507-17-7-5.
  9. ^ Lee, Michael. "Second World War". Petersham Village. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Obituary: Keith Grant". The Daily Telegraph. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  12. ^ "O Holy Night / Luciano Pavarotti". ArkivMusic. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Songs Of Borodin & Dargomizhsky". ArkivMusic. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Haydn* – John McCabe (2) – The Haydn Piano Sonatas Volume 1". Discogs. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Christopher Hogwood: Recordings". Christopher Hogwood. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  16. ^ "About the Village Hall". Petersham Village. Retrieved 16 February 2015.

Further reading

External links