|All Saints Churchyard, Chingford||Waltham Forest|
All Saints Church was formerly Chingford parish church, erected on a site of worship probably in use since Norman times. By 1710 its name had been changed to St Peter and St Paul, but it ceased to be used when it became structurally unsafe and a new parish church was built on Chingford Green. By the early C20th the old church had become derelict, known as ‘The Green Church’ due to its dense ivy-cladding, and an inspiration to artists. When new housing was built in the area, the church was re-built in 1928 and once more took its old name of All Saints. It has a small churchyard.
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The origination of the word Chingford is Saxon, meaning 'ford dwellers by the stumps', referring to pile dwellings in the marshland on the River Lea. The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s owned the church in the C12th, from which time the north wall may date. The C13th saw the addition of the south aisle and arcade, the C14th the tower, and the C16th a porch. All Saints was recorded as the name of the church by 1397 but by 1710 its name had been changed to St Peter and St Paul. It had to be abandoned as the parish church in the C19th when it became structurally unsafe, purportedly as a result of graves being dug too near the walls, and of the late C17th heightening of the south wall of the aisle which increased the weight of the brickwork by 52 tons. A new parish church of St Peter and St Paul’s (q.v.) was built on Chingford Green in 1844. The old church was used less and less and gradually became derelict; in 1904 part of the nave roof collapsed. It became known as ‘The Green Church’ due to its dense ivy-cladding, and was an inspiration for numerous artists including the Pre-Raphaelite Arthur Hughes, who featured the churchyard in his painting ‘Home from Sea’.
When new housing development was taking place in the area in the C20th, in 1928-30 the church was re-built and once more took its old name of All Saints; the work cost £6,000 and was paid for by Miss Louisa Heathcote of Friday Hill House (q.v.), daughter of the Rector who had financed the new parish church. The architect was C C Winmill who kept much of the early church, such as the C13th arch in the south wall, and re-used old stone where possible. Three bells in the tower, dating from 1626, 1657 and 1835, had been removed to St Peter and St Paul’s but were restored to All Saints in 1929. All Saints became a chapel-of-ease to St Peter and St Paul.
The charming small churchyard is separated from the roadway by an embankment wall, and contains gravestones and a few chest tombs, one of which is flanked by yews, and there are memorials to the Heathcote family. Adjacent and south of the churchyard on Chingford Mount Road is a small area of ornamental gardens known as Goode Memorial Gardens.
Victoria County History; Arthur Mee, 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Guy Williams 'London in the Country, The Growth of Suburbia' Hamish Hamilton, London 1975; LB Waltham Forest Conservation Area leaflet