Monuments in All Saints Parish Church, Fulham

All Saints Fulham.

All Saints Church, Fulham, is conveniently situated a couple of minutes walk from Putney Bridge Station, just north of the river. This church is well endowed with monuments from the late 16th and 17th Centuries, as well as more minor later work, with altogether over two score memorials, a considerable proportion of which have interesting carving. The building itself includes a medieval tower, the rest being a sympathetic rebuild of about 1880 by the architect Arthur Blomfield. What we see today is much as Blomfield left it, a Gothic building, battlemented, all in Kentish ragstone, with the dressings in Bath stone, more or less matching the early 19th Century refacing of the medieval tower.

The pictures of memorials inside the church are courtesy of All Saints, and no reproductions should be made without their permission: their website is at www.allsaints-fulham.org.uk.

Carvings on the exterior of the church.

We start with a sequence of early memorials, commencing with a brass and an early panel, and including half a dozen showy and significant monuments from the 1890s through to 1610, with and without figures, and all worth contemplation:

Brass to Margaret Saunders, d.1529.

17th Century figure sculpture: Jane Payne, 1610, and Lord Mordaunt, 1675, by Bushnell.

This brings us to the end of this sequence, and we move on to the latter 17th Century:

The later works, a mix of rather plain works with a few which stand out, sculpturally speaking:

After WW1: monument to the 25th Cyclist Battalion London Regiment.

I should mention one further monument, as a black panel with Gothic window surround, above the Thomas Ravenshaw memorial, which I could not read; also that there are other bronze panels, including Sidney Herbert Foster Monel(?), d.1915 in action in the Dardanelles; and a modern panel to William Sharp, no date, surgeon to King George III etc etc.

All in all a most satisfying church. The ambience is enhanced by some decorative elements, including carved, gilded wooden angels with wings held high, presumably from the end of the 19th Century, a carved half figure of Virgin and Child, of earlier date, two fonts, of medieval and 17th Century date, and a fine beamed roof. There is a goodly amount of stained glass from the Victorian 1880 rebuild, the artists being the firm of Heaton, Butler and Bayne. Apparently the Reredos, with its painted panels of Moses, David, Isiah and Aaron, is by the same firm, but dating from a few years later.

Some of the chest tombs in the churchyard.

Outside, the church is adorned with minor sculptural elements (see near top of this page), including gargoyles, and small angels and a crucifixion of 19th C date, and the pleasantly overgrown churchyard contains a number of tomb chests of various designs, though nothing particularly sculptural. There are however some sculptural things to see by the church and in the surrounding open spaces. There is a crucified Christ in bronze under a canopy, with a WW1 dedication, in the churchyard. Also a modern work, of Modiglianilike thinness, Mother and Child by Helen Sinclair, dated 2000. In a separate small open space is a fine war memorial, as a Portland stone obelisk, with a bronze standing female figure holding a wreath and a torch on top, and also in bronze, a kneeling, grieving cherub in front of a cross below. The sculptor was Alfred Turner, an artist of merit who came to the fore rather late for these pages. Apart from several war memorials, he has an important public work in the panels for the front of the Old Bailey.

War Memorial, by Alfred Turner.

Nearby, a pleasant walled enclosure, with a central stone fountain bearing dolphins, and several weathered stone statues on plinths, entitled Protection, Adoration, Grief, and a Leda in a different style. Although the faded inscription on a couple of these looks more like JW than FW, apparently all of these are by F. Wedgwood, not a sculptor I am familiar with. Also there is Affection, an excellent nude mother and child group by Herman Cawthra, and elsewhere in the vicinity, and without a plinth, a particularly fine Eve Tempted by Alan Howes, I believe.

Affection by Herman Cawthra, Protection by F. Wedgwood, and Eve Tempted by Alan Howes.

Also just by All Saints is the excellent Sir William Powell’s Almshouses, founded 1680, rebuilt 1869 with a good tower, and gothic sandstone stone sculptures of female saints: Miriam, Anna, Deborah, Dorian, Ruth and Mary; and Faith, Hope and Charity. Good details all along windows, including gargoylic fish.

Across the road from the church, on the side of an ugly modern building, is a highly stylised Henry Moore-like figure of a man with what seems to be a swan.

Figures from Powell's Almshouses.

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Monuments in some London Churches // Churches in the City of London // Introduction to church monuments

Angel statues // Cherub sculpture

London sculpture // Sculptors

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