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All Saints, Crondall, All Saints, Hampshire

(51°13′45″N, 0°51′46″W)
Crondall All Saints
SU 795 484
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hampshire
now Hampshire
medieval Winchester
now Guildford
  • Ron Baxter
  • Ron Baxter
12 April 2005

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Crondall is in NE Hampshire, 1½miles from the county boundary and less than 3 miles NW of Farnham, over the border in Surrey. The village is a substantial one built on rising ground, and the church stands at its highest point, towards the S.

All Saints’ has an aisled and clerestoried nave with four-bay arcades of which the eastern bays give onto non-projecting transepts with arches linking them to the nave aisles. These transepts are chapels now, with E altars, and may have been originally, but in Ferrey’s plan dating from his 1847 restoration, both transepts held longitudinal rows of seats, those on the N side designated for children. The Romanesque features within them all date from the 19thc. The nave has N, S and W doorways, the N protected by a porch that was under restoration at the time of the visit, impeding but not entirely preventing photography of the doorway. The chancel is of two bays and rib-vaulted. The present tower is a brick structure of 1659, positioned on the N side of the chancel. Evidence for an original tower over the crossing can be seen in the form of a stair turret in the angle between the E wall of the N transept and the N wall of the chancel, in the thickness of the piers at the entrance to the transepts, and in the ugly buttresses erected on either side of the crossing in the 16thc. to shore up the walls. The old tower apparently became too unstable to maintain after it was unwisely decided to install two more bells in 1642, bringing the total to six, and to re-roof it with 1,200 lbs of lead.. The church contains a plain 12thc. font; the nave arcades and transepts originally dated from c.1170-1200 but are largely 19c work now, and the three nave doorways and the chancel and its arch and vaulting date originally from c.1200-1220. The chancel has been restored, and the N doorway practically entirely replaced, while the other two doorways have not been restored. The difference is striking. A plain 12c window survives at the W end of the N aisle. There is a 19thc. vestry on the N side of the chancel, W of the tower. Very little of the fabric is in its original condition. A drawing by Anne Crane, daughter of the Rev. John Lockman Crane (vicar 1803-08) of the interior c.1840 shows galleries between the nave piers, the arch to the S transept lower than the nave arcade, and no clerestory windows above the transept arches. In 1847 it was restored by Benjamin Ferrey, who repaired the N doorway, replaced the aisle and clerestory windows, removed the galleries and restored the chancel arch and nave arcades. In 1871 the church was again restored, this time by George Gilbert Scott II. His interior work was concentrated in the chancel, where the floor level was raised and the E windows replaced, but he coated the exterior walls with an inappropriate cement render that has since caused problems by retaining water. The current restoration has seen the replacement of windows on the N side and consolidation of the masonry of the north porch.


There was a church in Crondall as early as the 9thc., when the manor and hundred of Crondall were held by Alfred the Great. Crondall hundred occupied the NE corner of the county, and the entire area was given to the Cathedral Priory of St Swithun, Winchester for the support of the bishop and monks. The Rector of Crondall was responsible for the entire area, before and after the Conquest, and such parishes as Yateley, Aldershot and Long Sutton were originally chapelries of Crondall. In 1086, then, Crondall was held by Bishop Walkelin of Winchester. It was a large manor of 50 hides with a church. The manor included land in Itchel and Cove (8 hides), held by German; 3 virgates in Badley, held by William from the bishop; 7 hides held by Turstin in Long Sutton and 3 hides in Farnborough, held by Odin of Windsor. The earliest visible parts of the present building date from a rebuilding by Henry of Blois (Bishop of Winchester 1129-71), but earlier stone footings were uncovered in 1997 during work to replace the heating system. In 1542 St Swithun’s became a cathedral, and its possessions, including Crondall, passed to the newly-constituted dean and chapter.


Exterior Features



Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches



Vaulting/Roof Supports





Pevsner’s description of All Saints’ as “a puzzle church” cannot be bettered. Without knowledge of the two 19thc. restorations it would be all but impossible to unravel. Fortunately, Ferrey’s plan and Anne Crane’s interior view makes it all too clear that this large and complex 12c church, described by the Rev. Charles Stooks (1877-85) as the “cathedral of North Hampshire” has been wrecked by an over-enthusiastic attempt to make the western arm and transepts even more Romanesque than they were when it was built. Of the stylistically early group of capitals, only those of the arches from the nave aisles to the transepts are reliable. The later material has fared better, although the S and W doorways are practically worn away, and the N doorway seems to be entirely Ferrey’s work. The chancel arch (though not its supports or capitals) and the chancel vaults with their capitals are substantially original but while they include some chevron ornament, the use of pointed arches, crocket capitals and dogtooth ornament indicate a date in the early 13thc. rather than the late 12thc. The font appears to be 12thc., and not Saxon (as the author of the anonymous church guide has it).


Anon., A Guide to All Saints’ Church, Crondall. und.(post 1997).

R. P. Butterfield, The Parish Church of All Saints Crondall, Hampshire. A Brief Record from A.D. 1230. Undated (post 1932).

English Heritage Listed Building 136409

N. Pevsner and D. Lloyd, The Buildings of England. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Harmondsworth 1967, 187-88.

C. D. Stooks, A History of Crondall and Yateley in the County of Hants, chiefly taken from the churchwardens’ accounts and other records in the parish chests. Winchester 1905.

Victoria County History: Hampshire. IV (1911), 5-14.

Victoria County History: Hampshire. II (1973), 108-15.