All Saints' Church, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire - The Churches ...

All Saints' Church, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire - The Churches ...

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

cloister buildings.

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)

and font.

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

English history awaits you

The Churches Conservation Trust is the national

charity protecting historic churches at risk.

We’ve saved over 340 beautiful buildings which

attract more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

With our help and with your support they are kept

open and in use – living once again at the heart of

their communities.


Due to their age, historic church floors can be uneven and

worn, and lighting can be low level. Please take care,

especially in wet weather when floors can be slippery.

Help us do more

We need your help to protect and conserve our churches so

please give generously. To become a CCT Supporter please

pick up a leaflet or go to our website.

The Churches Conservation Trust

1 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9EE Tel 020 7213 0660 CCT


Registered Charity No: 258612 © CCT 2012

Church of

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

glowing colours.


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

recently restored.

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.








South aisle

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

preceded Jesus

College. The 20 figures

were all designed by

the Pre-Raphaelites

William Morris, Edward

Burne-Jones and

Ford Madox Brown.

The lightness of the

background painting

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

South choir






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.


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