All Saints Church

All Saints Church PortwellAll Saints Church

The church is on the site of earlier buildings of the Saxon and Norman period. Parts of the church date from the 12th and 13th Century. The Unton, Pye and Bennett families have their tombs and monuments in the church. All the stained glass windows in the chancel are dedicated to the Bennett family.

All Saints Church C1940All Saints Church 1906

All Saints Church, pre-WWII, with cross-topped railings. The spire of the church was damaged in the Civil War in 1646 when the south aisle of the church was demolished. When the bells were removed to be re-cast in 1926, a broken cannon ball was found in the tower wall.

All Saints Church C1840All Saints Church C1890

The drawing of the church on the left was done around the 1840s before alterations and additions took place. Note the difference in the levels of the roofs. In 1853 the roofs either side of the tower were levelled and the Littleworth Aisle added to the front of the tower. Daniel Bennett of Faringdon House paid for the addition of this aisle and for the roof to be replaced. Also at the same date the organ gallery under the tower and the galleries round the nave were removed. The second drawing is from around the 1890’s.

All Saints Bell Tower 1987All Saints ChurchyardIn the ringing chamber is a clock of Messrs Smith & Sons of Derby, with a modern carillon machine installed in 1926, which plays a tune on the bells every three hours commencing at 6 am and finishing at 9 pm. The tunes that are played are: Sunday ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’; Monday ‘We love thy place O God’; Tuesday ‘At the name of Jesus’; Wednesday ‘God moves in a mysterious way’; Thursday ‘Through the night of doubt and sorrow’; Friday ‘Thy way not mine O Lord’; Saturday ‘Jerusalem my happy home’. The carillon had to be wound every day by hand, by the Tower Foreman or Steeple Keeper, until the process was electrified in recent years.

All Saints Church Int Front
Inside of All Saints Church. The organ is on the left side. The chandeliers were not electrified at this time.
All Saints Church Int Front
Back view inside of All Saints Church. The organ is to the right.
All Saints Bell Ringers 1921
1921 All Saints Church’s bell ringers; L to R – H. Townsend; Mark Haynes (sexton & grave digger); Geo Townsend; Albert Richings; Geo Webley; Frank Wheeler; Ernest Walker; Tom Clarke.
All Saints Bell Ringers 1926
1926. All Saints Church’s bell ringers, this time without those hats. The old bells, cast in 1708 and 1804, were removed and these are the new bells just delivered.
All Saints Bell Tower Inside 1987
1987 All Saints Church. Inside the bell tower. With new bells installed?
All Saints Choir C1918
c1918 All Saints Church’s choir. Rev. Cowell in the centre front.

Text extracted from: The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 1 p46 & Book 3 p27. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications.