693/4/349 ALL SAINTS ROAD
CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
Parish church and attached church hall. 1909, by RH Romaine-Walker.
MATERIALS: rough-faced snecked limestone masonry to exterior; Bath stone dressings and masonry to interior. Slate roofs (copper to aisles).
PLAN: six-bay nave with chancel, aisles, north-east Lady Chapel, south-east organ loft and attached vestry; attached to the north-west corner by an open porch is a four-bay church hall with WC annexe to north end.
EXTERIOR: a consistent Gothic design to the church, and a subtly contrasting C17 domestic style to the church hall, expressing their different functions. Window tracery is in the C14 Decorated style, with mouchettes within mandorlas to the upper lights; set-back buttresses between each pair. Small belfry tower at the east end of the north aisle, with a crocketed finial. West end has a door set within a hood-mould, beneath a pair of windows; triple lancets ventilate the roof-space in the apex of the gable. Gable ends with kneelers to the east and west ends, each surmounted with a cross finial.
INTERIOR: entrance porch with spirited carving to roof boss, and capitals (a snarling green man, men and monkeys fighting, evangelists, medieval heads). A spacious nave, with aisles. The nave arcade consists of clustered, quatrefoil piers carrying moulded arches. Triple E window. The stained timber wagon roof, divided into square compartments, with moulded ribs, is continuous the length of the church; there is no chancel arch. Moulded surrounds to the north-west and west doors enriched with very characterful carvings of tradesmen: a carpenter (with saw); a smith (with vice); a mason (with hammer and chisel) and a stone-carver (carving a gargolyle); these appear to be portraits. Roof of belfry tower in north-east corner has a carefully detailed ribbed vault with central boss. Parquet floor.
FITTINGS: the reredos, of Caen stone, comprises a Late Gothic tabernacle with a central figure of Christ, flanked by six smaller saints, all set within traceried canopies; to the projecting sides, on piers, are two orders of angels within canopies. Stone steps and octagonal base to an octagonal oak pulpit with blind traceried panels. Choir stalls and choir screens of dark stained oak. Plain octagonal stone font at the rear of the church. Pewing in the nave replaced with present chairs, early C21. Organ by Norman & Beard.
HISTORY: the church was consecrated in December 1909 and opened in the following year. The builders were J. McWilliam of Bournemouth. It was paid for by Fanny Haldane (d.1905), widow of George Haldane, and her sister Harriet Spike (d.1899), and provided 300 seats serving the westward expansion of Lymington; the hall was intended for use by a Sunday School. William Henry Romaine-Walker (1854-1940) studied under the noted High Victorian architect George Edmund Street, whose masterpiece is the Law Courts, on The Strand. The son of a vicar, Romaine-Walker¿s earliest church work was for his father's St Saviour, Pimlico, where he oversaw internal alterations in 1882-83. He is best-known for his country houses, of which the nearest to All Saints is the noted Rhinefield Lodge of 1888-90; Danesfield, nr Medmenham, Berkshire is also notable, and in 1910 he rebuilt the main staircase at Chatsworth. He also designed the Edwardian extensions to the Tate Gallery. Romaine-Walker's most comparable building to All Saints is the church of St John the Evangelist, Upper Parkstone, Dorset of 1902-03, designed in partnership with Besant; similar also is their more opulent St Saviour's, Brockenhurst (consecrated 1905).
SOURCES: `New Church at Woodside', Hampshire Chronicle (c.1910, undated article kept in the church)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Church of All Saints, Lymington, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architect: designed by an interesting late Victorian and Edwardian architect, RH Romaine-Walker, who was responsible for several notable buildings (sacred and secular) nearby.
* Architectural interest: the church is carefully designed and very little altered, possessing a spacious and harmonious interior; the integration of the church hall with the church is also considered
* Fixtures: the carved reredos is extremely accomplished
* Masonry: the exuberant stone-carving is of a very high order
* Ancillary building: the church hall is an unusual provision, and is carefully differentiated stylistically from the church