Church of All Saints


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Fairwood Road, Brokerswood, Westbury, Wiltshire


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Statutory Address:
Fairwood Road, Brokerswood, Westbury, Wiltshire

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
North Bradley
National Grid Reference:


Church, of c1897, erected at its present location in 1904.

Reasons for Designation

The Church of All Saints, erected in Brokerswood in 1904, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural Interest: as a good example of a Gothic Revival tin tabernacle that displays a detailing above the norm for a church of this type; * Rarity: originally dating from the later C19 and re-located here in 1904, it is an increasingly uncommon ecclesiastical survivor; * Intactness: though typically modest, the church survives substantially complete and retains many of its original fixtures and fittings, comparing favourably with other listed examples.


By the late C19 both the established church and the non-conformists had embarked on a widespread church building programme brought about by a series of religious revivals. Although many older buildings were restored and modernised, many congregations erected prefabricated, corrugated iron structures as a temporary measure while they attempted to raise funds for a permanent building.

Corrugated iron was patented in 1829 and was the first mass-produced cladding material of the modern building industry. It was a technological breakthrough, with the corrugations giving rigidity and additional structural strength over that of flat-iron sheeting. A further significant development came in 1837 when the process of galvanizing the iron with zinc to prevent rusting was patented. Manufacturers quickly recognised its potential for use in prefabricated structures, and several firms, such as William Cooper Ltd of London and Francis Morton in Liverpool, produced a range of prefabricated iron buildings that were made available for sale through catalogues. Iron churches, colloquially referred to as 'tin tabernacles' on account of their external appearance, are probably the best known examples of such structures. The first iron church is believed to have been constructed in 1855 in London and they eventually came into their own during the period from the late C19 up to the start of the First World War. They were still being built in the 1920s and 1930s.

The iron church in Brokerswood, known as All Saint's Church, was originally situated in Southwick, some 3km to the north, where it replaced an earlier church that had been destroyed by fire in 1897. When a new stone church (St Thomas') was built in Southwick, the iron church was dismantled and reassembled at its current location in Brokerswood, on land given by a Mr Asher of Wimborne. It stands at the crossroads of Brokerswood Road and Fairwood Road. and the first service was held at the church on 30 November 1904. Electricity arrived in the hamlet in 1959, but was never connected to the church which is lit by oil lamps. The building has been sympathetically maintained and repaired over the years, including a programme of restoration in the 1990s. In 2002 the Friends of All Saints' Church Brokerswood was established to continue that work and care for the church. It continues to be regularly used for services.


Church, of c1897, erected at its present location in 1904.

MATERIALS: a timber frame clad in galvanised corrugated iron, under a replacement roof covering of PVC-coated corrugated steel sheeting. Towards the west end is a square, louvred bellcote with a pyramidal roof surmounted by a cross, and on each side of the roof is a pair triangular roof vents with incised trefoil detail. The walls and the roof are painted.

PLAN: a small chapel on east-west axis, comprising a nave and chancel under the same roof. It has a west porch and there is a small vestry to the north.

EXTERIOR: the windows throughout are of timber and are of two-lights with pointed-arched heads and hoodmoulds with stops. The gabled west porch has a simple plank door with timber hoodmould above and a timber finial at the apex of the gable; while the two side walls each has a window. There is a further window to either side of the porch and one above the porch. The north elevation has three windows, including one to the vestry. This breaks forwards from the main body of the church and has a catslide roof. To the west side is a door which matches that to the porch, leads into the vestry. The east end has a single two-light window set high in the gable, while the south side has three windows.

INTERIOR: the walls are lined with painted tongue and grooved panelling, and the ceiling is the same material. The floor has plain boards throughout and the chancel end is raised. There are simple fittings including an altar rail with two-light open tracery, a three-sided pulpit with panels decorated with cusped heads and crosses, a wooden octagonal font with lead-lined bowl, and four-panelled doors. Bracketed oil lamps are fixed to the side walls, while chairs provide the congregational seating. The central roof truss has scissor bracing and there is a ridgepiece and two rows of purlins.


Tin Tabernacles, accessed from
Wiltshire Community History. Church of All Saints, Brokerswood, North Bradley, accessed from
Architectural History Practice, 'Rediscovering our Parish Churches' English Heritage and the Diocese of Salisbury Partnership Project. Brokerswood, All Saints, 2008,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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