819/8/43 ALL SAINTS ROAD
CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
Chancel and two bays of the nave 1886-7 by Temple Moore. Nave completed 1891. Tower completed 1901. Parish room block of 1987 on the N.
MATERIALS: Semi-dressed limestone rubble from Long Sutton with Clipsham and Bath stone freestone dressings. Red clay tiled roofs except for a lead roof on the S aisle.
PLAN: Nave and chancel under a continuous roof, wide S aisle slightly shorter than the nave, SE chapel, SE tower, S porch. Artificial stone is used for the parish room block.
EXTERIOR: The style of the church is refined late Gothic, drawing chiefly on medieval architecture from the C14. Decorated work appears in the three-light flowing W window (set over a W doorway) and the five-light E window with reticulated tracery (and sub-reticulations enclosed in the main ones): the window has a transom below which are blind lights. Three square-headed windows appear in the S aisle where the height does not allow for pointed windows. The unbuttressed three-stage tower is placed at the SE corner of the S aisle. It is very simple, almost severe, and has small two-light belfry windows with flowing tracery and an embattled parapet.
INTERIOR: The walls are plastered and painted. There is no chancel arch so the steeply keeled, boarded roof, painted and divided into panels, runs through continuously from one end of the church to the other. Its lightweight construction requires the use of horizontal and vertical iron ties. The separation of the nave and chancel from the south aisle is by a six-bay arcade with lozenge-shaped piers without capitals so the arches die into them. There is no clerestory. In the S aisle the lean-to roof is divided into panels by moulded ribs and is painted.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The most prominent item is the richly decorated chancel screen dating from 1894 with florid tracery in the heads of the single lights of which there are on either side of the ogee-headed and cusped central doorway. The large timber reredos, of 1891, is also prominent, rising to the transom of the E window and decorated with scenes from the Life of Christ flanked by figures of the Apostles. There are deal-panelled dadoes throughout the nave, aisle and chancel. The nave and aisle have a woodblock floors and are seated with chairs: the chancel is floored with oak. In the chancel the choir stalls have L-shaped, decorated square ends (the book rests are later). The wooden polygonal pulpit has blind traceried sides and a tester on a slender stem. At the E end of the S aisle the chapel is screened off with parclose screens of similar design to the chancel screen and has similar florid tracery. A ceramic monument attached to the W wall of the aisle was given in memory of John Perkins, d 1942, and is inscribed `Giovanni della Robbia 1469-1529 fecit': it shows the Virgin and Child in an arched frame decorated with swags of fruit. The font is of red Runcorn stone and is carved with tracery patterns and IHC etc symbols.
HISTORY: The church was built for an area of Peterborough which was being developed in the 1880s for middle-class housing by the Peterborough Land Company who donated the site. Moore won the commission out of a field of three in a competition in 1886 judged by JO Scott. Building began almost straight away but his design was much scaled back: it originally envisaged a very tall, elegant and expensive NE tower. The aisle, originally intended for the N side was re-planned for the S. Lack of funds meant that only the chancel and two bays of the nave were finished by the time the church was opened on 1 November 1887, a year to the day after the laying of the foundation stone. The builder was Alderman John Thompson of Peterborough (an important Victorian builder of churches including many for Sir Gilbert Scott): the contract was for £2,175. The main structure was completed and consecrated in 1891 with the tower being finished in 1901.
Temple Lushington Moore (1856-1920) was one of the greatest architects of the late Gothic Revival. He was articled to GG Scott junior from 1875-8 and began independent practice in the 1880s. Despite basing his practice in London much of his best work is in Yorkshire where he was educated as a young man before joining Scott and where he maintained links of family and friendship. All Saints is his first major church. His greatest achievements were between the mid-1890s and the start of the First World War and are characterised by what one contemporary critic called `good proportion and sweetness of line'. The elaborate ornament and polychromy of 1860s and `70s architecture have no place in his work which forms a key bridge between Victorian and C20 church architecture. A devout Anglo-Catholic himself much of his work was for High Church clients.
All Saints is a fine building by Moore, even if it is surpassed by some of his later churches. It is rooted in the sensitive, refined late Gothic style pioneered by G.F. Bodley in the 1860s and also by Moore's master, GG Scott jun, in the 1870s.
GK Brandwood, Temple Moore: an Architect of the Late Gothic Revival, 1997, pp 76-7, 215, 218, 221, 226, 231
KM Green, A History of the Parish of All Saints, Peterborough, c.1990
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of All Saints, Peterborough, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* A well-designed church of the late Gothic Revival, with harmonious proportions and a refined style
* It is the first significant church by Temple Moore who became England's leading church architect of the years 1895-1915
* The furnishings designed for the church by Moore are still intact.