800/17/37 CHURCH LANE N17
22-JUL-49 (West side)
PARISH CHURCH OF ALL HALLOWS
The W tower and western six bays of the nave arcades are C14, and formerly comprised the entire church including a chancel structurally undivided from the nave. The S aisle is C15. Early C16 S porch. Top of the tower built or rebuilt in brick in 1741. N aisle rebuilt in brick in 1816. The eastern bay of the nave, the chancel, transepts and N vestry were added in 1875-7 to designs by William Butterfield. There was some interior recolouring in the nave in 1964-7.
A variety of materials are used, including flint and ragstone rubble with stone dressings and brick of several periods. Tiled roofs.
Chancel with NE vestry and N and S transepts, nave with 7-bay N and S aisles, S porch and W tower.
The exterior is notable for its mix of styles, periods and materials. The tower and the nave and aisles, each with its own gabled roof, largely preserves the appearance of the entire medieval church, but the building was greatly extended to the E in the C19. The chancel, transepts and vestry are 1875 by Butterfield in a C13 style, and have his characteristic banded stone and brick diapering. The windows, which have geometric tracery, are in stone. The N aisle is stock brick of 1861 and has tall, square headed Perpendicular style windows. The C15 S aisle is ragstone rubble construction and has a round rood stair turret marking the former junction of nave and chancel. The S aisle windows are similar to those in the S aisle, except for the easternmost window which has reticulated tracery. The C19 nave clerestory is hidden behind aisle roofs.
The very fine C16 brick porch is two-storied and has diaper brickwork, stone dressings and an embattled parapet, much renewed. The string course below the parapet has angels and Tudor roses. The C19 outer doorway has a two-centred head in a square frame; the inner S door has a segmental head and retains its original early C16 carved spandrels. The porch roof has hefty early C16 rafters. The slender W tower is of several different periods, and displays a mix of materials. Of four stages with an embattled parapet, the lower part is C14 and has a blocked C15 or early C16 W door and W window. There are small oculi of uncertain date in the second stage, and tall, pointed windows (possibly former bell openings) blocked in brick in the third stage. On the E face, the central blocked opening (now largely hidden by the C19 roof) is flanked by blind, two light windows with cusping in simple flint flushwork, late C14 or early C15. The upper part of the tower is C18 brick, and has pairs of round headed bell openings flanked by similar, smaller openings and a brick, embattled parapet.
The medieval fabric is largely plastered and painted, while Butterfield¿s work displays his characteristic structural polychromy and use of tiles, especially in the chancel, which is very richly decorated. The seven bay N and S nave arcades have chamfered arches on octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases. The three westernmost and the 5th pairs of piers are C14; the 4th and 6th pairs are C19 copies. The upper and lower rood stair doors in the 4th bay, S aisle wall mark the position of the former screen and division between nave and chancel. The clerestory was a Butterfield addition, and is red brick with pale stone in a distinctly Victorian Gothic style. The tower arch is of a similar C14 design to the nave arcades, and the nave W wall is covered in C19 geometric tiles below the level of the clerestory.
The E end is wholly by Butterfield in a C13 style. The chancel arch is banded stone has half-round responds, moulded capitals, and multiple rolls on the arch. The arches to the transepts from the aisle and chancel are similar to the nave arcades except that they are also done in banded stone; that from the S aisle is treated as bar tracery and has open, foiled circles in the spandrels, a motif extensively used in the C19 work. There are two open, foiled circles in the spandrels of the chancel arch with a stone cross between them. The chancel is typical of Butterfield¿s creative use of structural polychromy. The upper part of the walls are exposed brick with stencilled decoration, with banded stone and open quatrefoils (one a window) by the transepts. The lower part of the sanctuary walls enriched with blind arcading in a C13 style with detached marble shafts and fine geometric tiles behind the arcading. The sedilia, piscina and reredos are an integral part of this composition.
Only a few fittings, notably monuments, survived the C19 restoration. The N aisle W window has outstanding early C16 French glass, presented in 1807 and formerly in the E window. This depicts the prophets David, Isaiah and Jeremiah beneath three large seated evangelists. The S aisle roof has C15 king posts on plain tie beams. The rafters are ceiled in.
Otherwise, the church retains most of the suite of fittings installed under Butterfield's direction, and all, with the exception of the benches, are notable in design and execution. Reredos, 2-seat sedilia and piscina in the chancel. The reredos is three bays like a castle gatehouse, with a central, trefoiled arch under a gable with an embattled cornice and pinnacles. The backs of the central arch and the flanking square panels have fine geometric tiles, and there is further stone panelling with foiled circles at dado level. The piscina is formed from a bay of the blind arcading; the sedilia is larger and the string course rises above it in a stepped gable. Excellent tester and stone pulpit with open marble and alabaster arcading in a C13 Italian Gothic style. Polygonal font with two rows of detached marble shafts. The glass in the chancel, transepts and aisles is by Gibbs and was designed under Butterfield's direction, although only the E window, those in the S transept and the first S aisle window are by Gibbs himself. The rest comes from his workshop. There is a good, but very small, early C20 panel in the S aisle W window.
The nave and chancel roofs are also by Butterfield. The chancel has a wagon roof with delicate mouldings simulating ribs and stencilled decoration, richer over the sanctuary. The nave has a timber barrel vault with arch braced principals, the whole painted in an unusual striped pattern that resembles tartan from the ground but is intended to create a trompe l'oeil effect of additional ribs. Good C19 floor tiles in the chancel and at the W end of the nave.
A rood group, with life sized figures, in the N aisle is said to have been executed in the Exeter workshop of noted ecclesiastical sculptor Harry Hems (1842-1916). A length of cornice with carved angels, also in the N aisle, is probably C19.
There are some good monuments, including several late C16 and C17 brasses and wall tablets. The most notable is that for Mary Barkham, d.1644 and her husband, Sir Robert Barkham, signed by Edward Marshall. Of black and white marble, they have elegant demi-figures in an architectural frame with kneeling children below, and shows leading tendencies in mid C17 tomb design. The brass for Margaret Irby, d.1640, is also interesting as it has gracefully sketched kneeling figures on a single sheet of brass.
A priest held land in Tottenham at the time of the Domesday book in 1086, and he presumably also had a church there. The double square plan of the medieval nave (as defined by the position of the former rood screen) suggests that the church was rebuilt in the C12. The earliest surviving fabric, however, is the C14 W tower and the western 6 bays of the present nave arcades, which formed an undivided nave and chancel before the C19 rebuilding. The former division between nave and chancel is still marked by the rood stair doors inside and the rood stair turret outside. In the late C15 the aisles were rebuilt and probably widened. The S porch was added c.1500. An unusual circular vestry and mausoleum for the Hare family was built to the E of the church by Lord Coleraine in 1696; it was demolished during the C19 restoration. The upper stage of the tower was built or rebuilt in brick in the mid C18, and a W gallery was added in 1741. In 1816 the N aisle was rebuilt in brick, and a N gallery was inserted in 1821. There was also a S gallery. During an extensive restoration and extension in 1875-7 to designs by William Butterfield, the E walls were demolished and a new chancel and transepts built, with the former nave and chancel being converted into the nave. Butterfield (1829-99) was one of the greatest C19 church architects, and he was particularly noted for inventive structural polychromy and rich, often tiled, surfaces that he employed at All Hallows. He was a friend of the then vicar, Alexander Wilson, and sometimes worshiped in the church. Wilson paid for much of the restoration, and he and Butterfield are buried in adjacent tombs in the cemetery.
RCHME Middlesex (1937), 119-21
VCH Middlesex V (1976), 348-55
B. Cherry and N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: London North (1999), 569-71
A short Guide to Tottenham Parish Church (nd)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of All Hallows, Tottenham is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* C14 parish church greatly extended in the C19 to designs by William Butterfield, retaining considerable fabric while adding in a new phase of note.
* Excellent C16 French glass at the W end of the N aisle.
* A notable C15 king post roof in S aisle and C16 roof in S porch.
* Some significant monuments including that to Mary Barkham, d.1644 signed by Edward Marshall.
* Good polychrome interior in the chancel by Butterfield and good fittings by Butterfield including the font and pulpit.
* Very complete set of nave and chancel glass by Gibbs.