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All Saints’ Church, Lime Walk


All Saints Church

The postcard above shows the west and south side of All Saints’ Church, Lime Walk soon after it was consecrated in 1910, before the chancel was added at the eastern end. The photograph below, taken in 2015, shows the enlarged church, surrounded by mature lime trees, which were drastically pollarded in 2006

All Saints Church

By the early twentieth century, New Headington village had outgrown its little mission chapel in Perrin Street. Mrs Morrell of Headington Hill Hall pledged £1000 towards the building of a proper church, provided that the villagers raised the same amount, which they did. A large house in Lime Walk had to be demolished to make room for the new church.

The inscription on the foundation stone facing All Saints Road states that it was laid by the Bishop of Oxford (Frances Paget) on 31 July 1909. The church was was consecrated on 29 May 1910, and the new Parish of Highfield was formed ten days later on 9 June 1910.

Interior of All Saints' Church
Above: the interior of the church shortly after it was opened, showing how it looked
before the chancel was added to the east in 1937; below: the same view in 2010

Interior of All Saints Church

The church, designed by the firm of Arthur Blomfield & Son, is described by Pevsner as having “an exceptionally impressive interior” of exposed brick. It is a large church: it originally seated 400 people, and this increased to 600 after the chancel (designed by N. W. Harrison) was added in 1937.

There is a plaque inside the church to John Wesley Woodward of 24 Windmill Road, a bandsman who died on the Titanic.


All Saints' parish hall in New High Street (“Church House”)

Church House in c.1920

Above: Highfield Hall in New High Street in about 1915. This corrugated iron-clad building in New High Street served as a parish hall until the mid-1960s. The photograph below shows a Coronation Party in the old church hall in 1953.

Church House

Plaque in Church House

 

 

The present Church House (above) was opened by Princess Margaret on 24 February 1967


All Saints Vicarage House, 85 Old Road

All Saints' vicarage

When the Revd Canon Francis Tolvey Colson was appointed Vicar of the new parish and church of Highfield in 1910, there was no house for him, and the 1911 census shows him living at All Saints Lodge in Highfield with his wife and son and their cook and housemaid.

On 11 June 1913 the Revd H. N. Perrin came to dedicate the new vicarage, although the builders had not quite finished the work. It is next to the present Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. Its original address was 27 Old Road; from 1930 it was 49 Old Road; and since 1949 it has been 85 Old Road. Later that year Canon Colson moved in.

Tea at Highfield Vicarage in 1915A tea party at Highfield Vicarage in 1915

The first six Vicars of All Saints' Church all lived in this vicarage, but following the retirement of the Revd James Cocke in 2020, the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance put it up for sale by Carter Jonas, and it is currently under offer (asking price £1.8 million). There are covenants on the site, and an overage for future development. It is on Oxford City Council's Heritage Asset Register.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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