Church History

Church West dwgAll Saints’ Church Laleham is a fine example of an early English place of worship. Situated at the heart of Laleham, and close to the river Thames, All Saints’ Church has been a place of Christian worship since at least the 12th century. 

For almost 400 years Ashford, Laleham and Staines were a single parish, Laleham being a chapel of ease to Staines. In 1858 it was granted a perpetual curacy which means that it became a parish church and had its own vicar.

Parts of the Church building date back over 800 years and there are contributions from many periods in history. The nave contains some of the earliest work. 12th Century pillars made from clunch (a form of chalk) and the  arcades still remain, the west wall at the back of the church also dates back to the 12th Century.

 There is a pre-reformation altar slab preserved on the West wall and medieval graffiti is to be seen in several areas.

 

Stained glass windows, memorials, grave slabs in the aisles and wall plaques all add significantly to the history of All Saints, telling us of the various families and personages of Laleham’s past. One of the most significant is the Balfour window which is now installed in the west wall. It was originally positioned in the east wall above the communion table.

 

 

There are many memorials in the churchyard to well known people, such as Matthew Arnold, the poet and the 3rd Earl of Lucan who reluctantly passed the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade.

 

The church had a wooden steeple prior to 1731 but around 1732 it was replaced a by a brick-built tower, but this too had to be extensively repaired and buttressed a hundred years later. The clock, which you see today, was installed in 1842.

The Church once only had 3 bells. There are 8 bells now, these are hung, fixed as a carillion within a metal frame in the tower. The bells were installed in 1951 by the Gillett & Johnson foundry of Croydon. The carillion is played from the first floor of the tower by a clavier which has hand batons. Tunes and ringing the changes can be played with this system.

The Church once only had 3 bells.  There are 8 bells now, these are hung, fixed as a carillion within a metal frame in the tower. The bells were installed in 1951 by the Gillett & Johnson foundry of Croydon. The carillion is played from the first floor of the tower by a clavier which has hand batons. Tunes and ringing the changes can be played with this system.

Originally there was a south aisle. However it was taken down in Tudor times, though no one knows why, together with the chancel and possibly one bay of the nave. A new chancel was built at this time, but this in turn was replaced in the 18th Century by the one we see today. The red brick chancel arch, the chapel arch and the rebuilt nave date from the Tudor period. The structure of the North Aisle dates from 1828. The windows which are Gothic in style were later additions and to match them similar ones were added in the south aisle.  We are hoping to rebuild the south aisle in the  not too distant future

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George Harlow Painting

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The large painting which can be seen at the north end of the west wall depicts our Lord Jesus walking on the water to save Peter, who is about to sink beneath the waves, is by

On the North side is the Lucan Chapel with its red Tudor brickwork and as one walks around the churchyard towards the East the Lucan Memorial can be seen. It is here that many of the  Earls of Lucan are buried.