The original All Hallows Church was on Lombard Street in the heart of the City of London, on a site where Christian worship has been documented back to 1053. Over the years the church was rebuilt twice, but in 1666 disaster struck when the Great Fire ravaged London and destroyed hundreds of buildings, including All Hallows. Christopher Wren designed the new All Hallows, which was built between 1686 and 1694.
Dominating the new church was the square stone bell tower outside and the extraordinary woodwork of the fittings inside. As the City population dwindled and business interests began to dominate there, fewer churches were needed to serve the people. Once structural defects were discovered in the walls, the authorities selected All Hallows for demolition which took place in 1939 all except for the bell tower, which was transferred stone by stone to Twickenham.
The Bishop of London laid the foundation stone in July 1939 and the new building, designed by Robert Atkinson, was dedicated and opened here in November 1940 under wartime conditions as the new home for All Hallows.
The photos below show the reredos at All Hallows, believed to be the work of Sir Christopher Wren’s preferred wood carver, Grinling Gibbons, in 1937 in Lombard St (left) and the present arrangement in Twickenham (right).