About All Saints’
All Saints’ church was founded before 1100. It stood in
the Jewry (the Jews’ quarter), a central position near
Trinity College. It was repaired many times but by 1852
the congregation needed a larger church so they moved
to this site in Jesus Lane. The old churchyard, flanked by
All Saints Passage, remains as an open space often used
for craft markets. The patronage of the church was given
to St Radegund’s nunnery by 1180 and then passed in 1497
to Jesus College, which still uses the convent’s chapel and
The new church opposite Jesus College was built on
college land. Its architect was George Frederick Bodley
(1827–1907), a young pupil of George Gilbert Scott.
He used a Gothic Decorated style based on English
examples of c. 1300–20. The church was built in 1863–64
for High Church Tractarian worship. Bodley designed not
just the architecture but the furniture, glass and wall
paintings as a unity. However the architect also found
room for various items from the old church: three bells
(tower), 35 wall memorial tablets (south choir aisle, nave
north wall), chandelier (chancel), parish chest (choir aisle)
Bodley’s design was completed with the central tower and
spire added in 1871. The only later alterations were the
chancel screen with its tall cross and the altar raised on
more steps in 1904 to enhance the climax of the Holy
Eucharist and to commemorate Revd Charles Acland.
The church was closed in 1973. After a vigorous campaign
by the Friends of All Saints, it was granted to the Churches
Conservation Trust in 1981 and thoroughly repaired. The
CCT and the Friends work together to create a role for the
church in the community and generate income.
A thousand years of
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your church tour
Jesus Lane, Cambridge
1 Looking eastwards the first impression is of devotional
sombreness, created by the wall paintings in dark reds
and greens only alleviated by the zones of paler greens
and golds at higher levels. This overall decoration of
walls, roofs and ceilings stencilled with religious texts
and monograms in Latin, all designed by Bodley, was
typical of Tractarian worship but now seldom survives.
6 The sanctuary within the communion rails is the main
focus of the church. Bodley designed the rails and other
woodwork, the curtains and the wall hangings. The high
altar was raised on further steps in 1904, so that the
altar cross and the tall candlesticks could be more
easily seen by worshippers in the nave.
The arch separates the nave
where the congregation sat and
the chancel where the choir and
priest were. It is emphasised by
the steps up into the chancel
and by a canopy of honour,
decorated by William Morris,
covering the ceiling. The
importance of preaching is
shown by the raised pulpit
designed by Bodley and
painted by Wyndham Hope
Hughes. Conservation by the
Kempe Trust has restored its
The chancel arch above
the pulpit (cover) is decorated
with a dominant scene of
Christ in Majesty enthroned in
Heaven, flanked by saints Mary
and John, all attended by
angels. This was originally
painted by Wyndham Hope
Hughes in 1875. It was later
repainted and more
The openwork screen emphasises the sacred space
beyond it. This was designed in 1904 by John Morley of
Cambridge, supplementing Bodley’s original rood beam.
On it stands the impressive great cross with emblems of
the four evangelists at its extremities.
The ground floor of the tower is occupied by the choir.
Their stalls are designed by Bodley. The floor tiles
imitate medieval ones. The ceiling has the emblems of
the four evangelists with Jesus, the Lamb of God, placed
centrally. The organ was made by Forster and Andrews
in 1864. The undecorated north window floods the
space with light.
The huge east window dominates the church. Five tall
panels are filled with four rows of figures portraying
saints and persons from the Old Testament. The central
panel has at the top Christ enthroned in heaven; below
him is King David, biblical ancestor of Christ; then
St Peter holding the keys of the heavenly gates.
The lowest figure is queen Radegund, patron saint of
the nunnery which
College. The 20 figures
were all designed by
William Morris, Edward
Ford Madox Brown.
The lightness of the
contrasts with the
darker glass in the nave.
The south choir aisle has stencilled wall decoration
of crowned M’s suggesting that this space was
intended to be the Lady Chapel. However the organ
case has always dominated this area.
5 Chancel 6 7
The south aisle is separated
from the nave by a five-bay
arcade of Ancaster stone.
At the east end is a screen
erected by Bodley in 1879.
On the south wall is the
wooden war memorial of
The stone font at the west
end is 15th-century, its
octagonal bowl decorated
with cinquefoils and shields.
Near the nave west wall is Bodley’s font of 1863
in figured alabaster; its bowl is decorated with
Tudor roses. Behind it is a marble wall memorial to
Herbert Luckock, who was the first vicar of this new
church and, later, Dean of Lichfield. The nearby
painting was a gift to him.
In the nave closest to the north door is a modern
stained-glass window celebrating Christian
womanhood. It is of 1944 by Douglas Strachan.
To its east is a window to three saintly Anglicans,
including (centre) Bishop Westcott, inspiration of
the adjoining theological college. The other windows
are by Charles Eamer Kempe.
To appreciate the exterior turn right; from Manor
Street admire the Decorated-style tower, tall spire
and east end. The white Lincolnshire limestone
contrasts strongly with the grey terrace housing and
the red brick of Jesus College and Westcott House.