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History and Heritage

Built: 1827 - 1829

Architect: James Savage 

Listing: grade 2

The Church of All Saints was built from 1827 and finished in 1829 to the designs of James Savage, and originally served as a Chapel of Ease to Croydon Parish Church. The tower and spire were added in 1841 and the chancel in 1861. The Church was severely damaged by bombing during the Second World War and was restored in 1954. The restoration included the removal of the north and south galleries, the conversion of the south porch into a Baptistery and the replacement of the east windows in the chancel and Lady Chapel.  

In January 1990, the church spire, pinnacles, rook and west end were severely damaged by storms and the church required extensive repairs which were completed by October that year. Major defects were found in the roof from 2000 onwards which led to major restoration works in 2004. Then, in 2011 the Church underwent major re-ordering works. 

Did you know?

From the 1830’s Upper Norwood had become a fashionable suburb for two public attractions. The first was the Beulah Spa gardens and pleasure grounds, situated between Spa Hill and Grange Woods.  It boasted a spring of chalybeate water and popular attractions such as military bands, archery and fortune telling.

The second was the Crystal Palace, an enlarged version of Sir Joseph Paxton’s Hyde Park Exhibition and building of 1851.  It was rebuilt on high ground between Norwood and Sydenham, half a mile from All Saints’ Church and re-opened in 1854. The water towers which operated the fountains were designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (one of the 19th century engineering giants).

In late Georgian and Victorian times many famous people lived in or visited Upper Norwood, including royalty. In 1887, the Emperor Frederick III of Germany (who married Victoria, the Princess Royal) stayed at the Queen’s Hotel, Church Road.

Charles Dickens was a frequent visitor to Springfield, Beulah Hill and he mentions All Saints Church in his novel ‘David Copperfield’.

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