The parish of St Aldhelm in Edmonton, north London is a modest late-c19/early-c20 residential area of terraced streets with a rather fine church.
The church was built in 1903 to the designs of W. D. Caröe (1857–1938), and replaces an earlier temporary ‘tin tabernacle’ building. The present building is summed up as “a homely Arts and Crafts version of a basilican church, using free Perpendicular detail“. In 1907 a vicarage – also by Caröe – was built immediately north of the church. The halls date from 1883 and 1907-8; architect currently unknown. (Cherry & Pevsner, 63).
This well-maintained church building comprises a chancel, north organ chamber, vestries and a south chapel, aisled nave with west gallery and bell turret (2 bells). The lower half of each nave pillar is panelled and painted, originally dark green. (Cherry & Pevsner, 423).
The arrtist Walter Percival Starmer (1871–1961) was employed (1947-8) to provide additional decoration in memory of the parish dead of the Second World War, specifically a delicate scheme of stained glass and an imposing reredos painting of the Ascension. (Another ecclesiastical scheme by Starmer can be found at the church of St-Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead, London; stained glass and murals).
Each of the internal doors is made to its own design with distinctive metalwork … as these examples demonstrate
The pulpit by W. R. Dale (n.d.) came from the redundant (1951) London church of St Mary, Spital Square. (Cherry & Pevsner, 63). While the brass lectern seems generic of the period the font seems as if it might be part of Caröe ‘s design not least because of the metalwork on the font’s cover.
The cost of the new church and vicarage was paid for out of the £36,000 proceeds of the sale of St. Michael Bassishaw church in the City of London (by Christopher Wren, 1679, demolished 1900), a portion of which had already paid for the construction of the nearby church and vicarage of St Michael, Bury Street in Edmonton (also by Caröe, 1901), now converted to secular residential use.
The pipe organ
The pipe organ in St Aldhelm’s was built and installed in 1905 by the short-lived north-London firm of Frederick Halliday (fl. 1905-13). Although an unremarkable instrument it is in good condition and quite adequate for accompanying the parish liturgy.
- ‘W. D. Caröe‘ in Wikipedia. Online resource, accessed 21 November 2017.
- ‘Edmonton: Churches’, in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, ed. T F T Baker and R B Pugh (London, 1976), pp. 181-187. British History Online. Online resource accessed 21 November 2017.
- ‘Frederick Hallliday’ in Directory of British Organ Builders (British Institute of Organ Studies, 2017) Online resource, acccessed 21 November 2017.
- ‘St Aldhelm’ in The Buildings of England. London 4: North by B. Cherry and N. Pevsner (London: Tale University Press, 2002), p. 63; p. 423.
- ‘St Aldhelm, Silver Street‘ in The National Pipe Organ Register. Online resource, accessed 21 November 2017.
- ‘St Aldhelm Upper Edmonton‘ in A Church near You (Archbishop’s Council, 2017), Online resource, accessed 21 November 2017.
- ‘St Michael Bassishaw‘ in Wikipedia. Online resource, accessed 21 november 2017.
- Walter Percival Starmer. Artist 1877-1961. Onine resource, accessed 21 November 2017
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