A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
There was a priest at Hendon in 1086. (fn. 1) A church was mentioned in 1157 (fn. 2) and was valued with a chapelry at Hampstead in the mid 13th century. (fn. 3) The chapelry was still annexed to Hendon rectory in 1476 (fn. 4) but it became the separate parish of Hampstead in 1549. (fn. 5) Several new churches were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries, until in 1970 there were 14 ecclesiastical parishes and two mission chapels within the old parish.
There is no mention of the church at Hendon in early grants of the manor to Westminster (fn. 6) but in 1157 Pope Adrian IV confirmed that the abbey held the advowson, (fn. 7) as was subsequently reaffirmed by the bishop of London. (fn. 8) In 1258 the abbey retained the advowson when it granted the church to the bishop of London. (fn. 9) Except in 1262 and when the king acted as patron sede vacante in 1349, the abbey presented all the rectors until 1476, (fn. 10) when it appropriated the church. (fn. 11) In 1550 the Herberts became lay rectors. (fn. 12)
A vicarage was ordained before 1244. (fn. 13) Vicars were appointed by the rectors from 1329 to 1477, when the bishop of London collated by lapse, and from 1478 until the Dissolution by the abbot of Westminster. (fn. 14) The advowson of the vicarage passed in 1541 to the new diocese of Westminster (fn. 15) and in 1550 to the Herberts, (fn. 16) who, as recusants, appear to have leased it; J. Askew and William Lambert presented in 1557, Sir Francis Walsingham in 1582, John Goldesborough in 1606, Thomas Staresmere in 1662, John Herne in 1679, and John Wand and John Wright in 1707 and 1726. (fn. 17) The advowson was sold after the death of John Bond in 1801 to the Revd. C. L. Eldridge, who presented in 1812. (fn. 18) Edward Bailey presented in 1876 (fn. 19) but by 1890 the living was in the hands of Lady Howard de Walden. (fn. 20) Lord Howard de Walden was patron in 1940 and the bishop of London in 1947. (fn. 21)
The vicarage was valued at five marks c. 1244, out of which two marks a year were paid to the sacristy of Westminster abbey (fn. 22) until the Dissolution. (fn. 23) In 1535 the vicarage was worth £15 (fn. 24) and by 1650 its value had risen to £55, which was augmented by £37 from the profits of the rectory. (fn. 25) The vicar's stipend was increased by £100 in 1694, after the attainder of Lord Powis, (fn. 26) but the grant was revoked after the manor had returned to the Herberts. (fn. 27) The endowment was chiefly drawn c. 1705 from the small tithes, including 6d. for each new-born lamb and 1d. for every barren ewe; pigs, geese, ducks, honey, wool, and other articles were also taken. (fn. 28) Apart from the profits from the lambs the tithes were not worth more than £10 but except when lambs failed the vicar thought his income 'generally considerable'. In 1706 the vestry offered him £80 out of the church rates in lieu of tithes, in return for which he was to preach twice each Sunday and read Mattins twice a week during the summer. (fn. 29) The arrangement excluded the lucrative burial fees for non-parishioners, which were divided between the vicar and the parish. In 1814 the vicar, Theodore Williams, who maintained that the parish's share of the money was wasted at vestry meetings, (fn. 30) refused to bury non-parishioners, but the vestry won its suit in the consistory court. (fn. 31) In 1835 the gross income of the vicarage was £1,300, out of which was paid an assistant curate's annual stipend of £100 and other sums amounting to £20. (fn. 32) In 1843 the vicar was given an annual rent-charge of £850 in lieu of small tithes. (fn. 33) The vicarial glebe amounted in 1640 to 4 a. of pasture adjoining the vicarage house (fn. 34) and remained intact until the 1930s, when it was sold for the building of Glebe Crescent and the Quadrant. (fn. 35) The vicarage house in Parson Street is an early-19th-century stuccoed villa, in whose garden Theodore Williams kept a noted collection of potted coniferous trees. (fn. 36)
A chantry priest in 1547 was paid £8 a year for a term of twenty years out of the profits of houses and lands in Hendon to sing masses for the soul of Allen Brent. (fn. 37) An obit was founded in 1492 under the will of John Atwood, who left 6s. 8d. a year for prayers to be said by the parish clerk and for a candle before the Easter Sepulchre each year. (fn. 38) The profits of a tenement and three closes were devoted in 1547 to an obit established by Richard Brent. (fn. 39)
Several of the pre-Reformation vicars were pluralists; Robert Shether, for instance, held two other benefices in 1535. (fn. 40) In 1586 the vicar was nonresident and his curate was absent at the time of the diocesan examination in the Scriptures, (fn. 41) whereas in 1640 a 'very able' minister preached twice each Sunday. (fn. 42) Francis Warham, appointed by Parliament in 1643, was a lecturer at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, London, and was said to serve the cure diligently (fn. 43) but was ejected in 1662. (fn. 44) During the 18th century services were held twice on Sundays, with Holy Communion monthly and at festivals. (fn. 45) In 1778 there was an average of fifty communicants (fn. 46) but by 1810 the number had dropped to ten. (fn. 47) With the exception of Hugh Bailey, 1787-90, all 18th- and 19th-century vicars seem to have resided. (fn. 48) There was a charity sermon at Hendon church in the 18th century and in 1795 Robert Johnson endowed a sermon to be preached there before officials of the Stationers' Company of London on the text: 'The Life of man is a bubble'. (fn. 49) William Wilberforce wrote in 1830 on the wretched spiritual state of the parish, (fn. 50) while his neighbour Sir Stamford Raffles noted in 1826 (fn. 51) how Theodore Williams had antagonized most of his parishioners; in 1823, during the dispute over burial fees, the vicar had demolished a new tomb in the churchyard and scattered the materials in the road outside. (fn. 52) Although the vestry thought that the vicar's attitude promoted secession, church attendances increased: in 1851 an average of 500 to 700 worshippers attended morning service at the parish church, as well as 250 in the afternoon and 300 to 600 in the evening, while some 25 attended a Sunday evening cottage lecture. (fn. 53) The vicar was indicted in 1906, along with the vicar of St. John's, West Hendon, for High Church practices, which included the use of eucharistic vestments, candles on the high altar, and the daily celebration of communion. (fn. 54) The AngloCatholic tradition has since been maintained in several churches, including the old parish church and St. Jude-on-the-Hill. (fn. 55)
Among those who held the benefice in the Middle Ages was William Dudley (d. 1483), rector from 1466, who became bishop of Durham in 1476 and chancellor of Oxford University in 1483. (fn. 56) Richard Rawlins (d. 1536) became vicar in 1504, warden of Merton College, Oxford, from 1508 to 1521 and bishop of St. Davids in 1523. (fn. 57) James Townley, 1768-77, was the author of several farces, (fn. 58) while his curate, Henry Bate, later Sir Henry Bate Dudley, Bt., became a noted journalist. Bate, known as 'the fighting parson', (fn. 59) was a friend of David Garrick, the patron of the living. (fn. 60) F. H. A. Scrivener, who succeeded Theodore Williams in 1875, was a noted classical scholar. (fn. 61)
The parish church of ST. MARY is built of flint rubble and pudding-stone with Reigate stone dressings; the tower is of ragstone, while the modern south aisle is of Portland and Weldon stone. (fn. 62) Excavations during restoration in 1929-31 are said to have revealed the foundations of the 12thcentury chancel. The church was rebuilt and enlarged in the 13th, 15th, and early 16th centuries. There were restorations in 1783 and 1827 and in 1915 the building was doubled in size, giving it an almost square plan. The east wall of the chancel contains 13th-century arcading, springing from foliated capitals, and fragments of contemporary wall-paintings were discovered near by between 1929 and 1931. The east window of three lights was added in 1408 under the will of John Ware, canon of St. Stephen's, Westminster. (fn. 63) Aisles were added to the nave in the 13th century, and the existing three-bay south nave arcade, supported on low octagonal piers, dates from that time. The north nave arcade, also of three bays, was rebuilt in the 15th century, when the clerestory and flat-pitched wooden nave roof were also built. The clerestory windows, which have no tracery, date from the 18th century. The embattled western tower, of three storeys, was built during the 15th century and repaired in 1783. (fn. 64) The chapel north of the chancel, lit by two three-light windows, was added in the early 16th century.
The interior was considerably altered after the Reformation by the addition of galleries, of which there were two by 1691, belonging to Sir William Rawlinson and to John Nicholl of Hendon Place. (fn. 65) Another gallery was added at the west end in 1788 to hold the charity school children. (fn. 66) Extensive repairs were carried out in 1827 by T. H. Taylor, after a scheme to demolish the old nave and build a new one of brick had been quashed by the vestry; (fn. 67) work included the construction of more galleries and of the chancel arch and wide arches in the chancel walls. With the ritualistic changes of the later 19th century the three-decker pulpit was removed, the chancel floor tiled, and the north chapel transformed by the removal of a gallery and the insertion of an altar to the designs of G. F. Bodley. In 1915 the south aisle was replaced by a new nave, south aisle, and south porch, designed by Temple Moore in a restrained late Gothic style; the new nave and south aisle were equal in height and separated by an arcade of seven bays, the columns of which were without capitals. The effect was to produce a light and spacious appearance, which was enhanced in 1929-31, when some 19thcentury features were removed from the older part of the church and the walls were plastered.
The church contains a mid- to late-12th-century font and three small brasses, of which the earliest, to John Downer, is dated 1515. Monuments include a large black marble floor slab of 1677 to Sir Jeremy Whichcote of Hendon House, a large wall monument to Sir William Rawlinson erected in 1705, with a life-sized reclining effigy, a draped marble tablet dated 1714 to Edward Fowler (1632-1714), bishop of Gloucester, and wall monuments to Sir Charles Colman by the younger Flaxman, dated 1795, and to Giles Earle by J. Smith, dated 1811. In the south aisle there is a painting of the Flight into Egypt by a member of the school of the Bassani. The plate includes a silver-gilt cup and paten-cover dated 1607, a silver-gilt paten probably of the late 17th century, and a silver-gilt flagon dated 1730. There are also two chalices, two patens, and two cruets, designed by G. F. Bodley in 1890. (fn. 68) There are six bells: (i) and (vi) Lester and Pack, 1759; (ii) Brian Eldridge, 1637; (iii) Ellis Knight, 1638; (iv) Thomas Mears, 1802; (v) James Bartlett, 1690. (fn. 69) The registers are complete from 1653. Among those buried in the churchyard are: Charles Johnson (1679-1748), dramatist; Sir Joseph Ayloffe, Bt. (1709-81), antiquary; Nathaniel Hone (1718-84), portrait painter; George Carter (1737-94), painter; and Benjamin Travers (1783-1858), eye surgeon. (fn. 70)
A rise in the population of Mill Hill led to many proposals in the early 19th century to build a church there. Arrangements were said by the vestry to be well advanced in 1826 (fn. 71) but nothing had been done by 1828, when William Wilberforce proposed to build a chapel near his house at Highwood Hill, with the aid of private contributions. (fn. 72) After remonstrances by Theodore Williams he agreed to locate it farther south, on the Ridgeway, but the vicar replied with a pamphlet attributing mercenary motives to Wilberforce and maintaining that any chapel would be injurious to religion and private property. (fn. 73) Williams refused to allow a district to be allotted to the chapel, the building of which began in 1829 and, despite support for it from both the bishop of London and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the consecration of the chapel of ST. PAUL, Mill Hill, was delayed until a few days after Wilberforce's death in 1833. (fn. 74) As the main benefactor, Wilberforce appointed the first minister, although Williams continued to claim the patronage; in 1838 the case was still being argued (fn. 75) but by 1855 the vicar had become patron and St. Paul's, described as a district chapel, was served by a curate of the parish church. (fn. 76) The patronage passed later to the Revd. E. C. Lethbridge, who transferred it in 1896 to the bishop of London, with whom it remained in 1970. (fn. 77) The church, which was erected on land given by Sir Charles Flower, (fn. 78) was designed by Samuel Hood Page (fn. 79) in a plain Gothic style. It is built of brick, later stuccoed and painted, and has a short chancel and a nave with a west gallery supported on slender cast-iron columns. In addition to private monuments the interior houses several memorials and banners relating to the Middlesex Regiment.
The district chapelry of ALL SAINTS, Childs Hill, was formed in 1857 out of the southern part of St. Mary's parish, services having formerly been held in a laundry belonging to Mrs. Hipwell. (fn. 80) It was served by a perpetual curate, appointed by the vicar of Hendon, (fn. 81) but by 1878 the living was described as a vicarage, in the gift of trustees. (fn. 82) The patronage was transferred in 1908 by Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt., and others to the bishop of London, with whom it remained in 1970. (fn. 83) The church, which was consecrated in 1856, (fn. 84) was designed, like the adjacent red-brick vicarage, by Thomas Talbot Bury. It is built of ragstone in the 'middle pointed' style and had originally only a short aisled chancel and a nave, although it was probably intended to be enlarged later; the north aisle and transept were added in 1878 (fn. 85) and the south aisle and transept in 1884. The church was badly damaged by fire in 1940 and restored in 1952.
CHRIST CHURCH, Brent Street, was built in 1881 to the designs of S. Salter as a chapel-of-ease served by the clergy of Hendon parish church. (fn. 86) It became the centre of a new parish, formed out of St. Mary's in 1923, and in 1970 the patronage was held by the bishop of London. (fn. 87) The church, a small and plain ragstone building in an early Decorated style, consists of an aisled and clerestoried nave, north porch, and chancel. The rood screen was designed by Temple Moore in 1896. (fn. 88)
Services for Anglicans in the Cricklewood area were held from 1882 in a combined mission church and schoolroom in Cricklewood Lane designed by Ewan Christian. (fn. 89) The permanent church of ST. PETER, Cricklewood, on a site given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 90) was dedicated in 1891 and became in 1892 the centre of a district chapelry formed out of the parishes of St. Mary, Hendon, and All Saints, Childs Hill. (fn. 91) The patronage was held by the vicar of All Saints but was transferred in 1910 to the bishop of London, who held it in 1970. (fn. 92) The church, a large building in a plain French Gothic style, was designed by T. H. Watson. (fn. 93) It is of uncoursed Burgate stone and has a clerestoried nave, with aisles and small transepts, and a south-eastern chapel. A Perpendicular chancel and Lady Chapel were added in 1911 and the nave was extended to the west in 1912. (fn. 94) The church was closed in 1971 and awaited demolition in 1972, when services were held in the neighbouring parish hall and at the chapel of Little St. Peter, Claremont Way. (fn. 95)
A temporary iron church was built in Edgware Road in 1866 to serve Anglicans in West Hendon. (fn. 96) Services were later held in another building, in Milton Road, shared with St. John's school. (fn. 97) The permanent church of ST. JOHN, West Hendon, in Algernon Road, was consecrated in 1896 and in the same year became the centre of a district chapelry formed out of the parish of St. Mary, Hendon; the advowson was vested in the bishop of London. (fn. 98) The church, which was designed by Temple Moore in a late Gothic style, is a spacious and lofty building of yellow brick and has an undivided chancel and nave, with the south aisle continued as a south chapel. A north arcade was provided for an aisle but this and the belfry were not built. Among the fittings are some panelling from two of Wren's London churches, St. George, Botolph Lane (demolished 1904), and St. Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange (demolished 1902), a font and cover of the same date, and a mid-18th-century pulpit from St. Michael Bassishaw (demolished 1900). (fn. 99)
The first Anglican worshippers in Hampstead Garden Suburb met from 1908 in a wooden hut. (fn. 100) In 1909 services were transferred to the Institute and in 1911 the church of ST. JUDE-on-the-HILL was consecrated, as the centre of a new district chapelry taken from the parish of St. Mary, the patron being the bishop of London. The Lady Chapel had been consecrated in 1910 but the church was not completed until 1935. (fn. 101) The architect was Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose building, with its lofty spire and steeply-pitched roof covering both nave and aisles and extending nearly to ground level, is a prominent landmark. The plan is cruciform, with aisles to both nave and chancel and chapels to north-east and south-east. The style shows a mixture of influences from Byzantine to English 18th-century. Apart from the west window the nave is lit only by square-headed dormers set on the aisle walls and the dimness is emphasized by the woodwork and bare brick.
At Golders Green services were held from 1910 in an iron church in Golders Green Road, which occupied the site of the church hall of ST. MICHAEL. (fn. 102) The church was begun in 1914, when its parish was taken from that of St. Mary, Hendon. In 1970 the living was in the gift of the bishop of London. (fn. 103) The original church, designed by J. T. Lee of Tufnell Park and not orientated, is a large Gothic building of buff brick with an aisled, galleried, and clerestoried chancel, an east chancel chapel, and an aisled and clerestoried nave of three bays. (fn. 104) Two more bays were added to the nave in 1925 by Caroë and Passmore and a low northwestern tower, surmounted by a classical cupola, was added in 1960. From 1970 the church was shared with a Greek Orthodox community, which had used Christ Church, Brent Street, in 1968, (fn. 105) and part of the light and spacious interior was furnished for Orthodox worship.
The church of ST. ALBAN, Golders Green, was built as a chapel-of-ease to All Saints', Childs Hill, in 1910. (fn. 106) It became the centre of a new parish taken from that of All Saints in 1922: in 1970 the patron of the living was the bishop of London. (fn. 107) The original church, a simple brick building, became the parish hall in 1933, when another church was built adjacent to it. The second church was by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed most of the fittings, and in a Gothic-inspired style. It is of dark red brick with stone dressings and has a cruciform plan with a massive central tower surmounted by a short spire.
Temple Fortune was served from the 1890s by a mission under the control of St. Mary's, Hendon, which conducted services at no. 24 Hendon Park Row. (fn. 108) In 1915 its functions were taken over by a London Diocesan Home Mission dedicated to the Holy Name, which held services in a temporary building in Cranbourne Gardens, serving also as a church hall. The mission district became the consolidated chapelry of ST. BARNABAS, Temple Fortune, in 1923, taken from the parishes of St. Mary, Hendon, and St. Mary, Finchley. In 1970 the living was described as a vicarage in the gift of the bishop of London. (fn. 109) The original church of 1915, which was aligned north to south, was designed by J. S. Alder and had a nave with apsidal sanctuary, south porch, and east vestries. The chancel, part of the nave and the Lady Chapel of a new church designed by E. C. Sherman were built at its north end in 1932-4 but it was not until 1962 that a new aisled nave, replacing that of J. S. Alder, was dedicated. The architect was R. B. Craze and although the building is much plainer than had been intended in 1932 it matches the north end in scale, the colour of the brickwork, and the simple Gothicinspired design. (fn. 110)
A brick church in Flower Lane, serving the area around the Midland Railway station at Mill Hill, was consecrated in 1909. (fn. 111) It became the church hall in 1922, when the chancel and two bays of the nave of the permanent church of ST. MICHAEL and ALL ANGELS, Mill Hill, were consecrated on an adjacent site. This church became the centre of a new parish, taken out of that of St. Paul, Mill Hill, in 1926, and in 1970 the bishop of London was patron of the living. (fn. 112) The church is built of uncoursed ashlar in a 15th-century Gothic style, with some rich interior detail; the architects were W. D. Caroë and Passmore. (fn. 113) The sanctuary was consecrated in 1932 and the church was finally completed in 1957, when the end bays of the aisled nave, a chapel, baptistry, vestries, and porches were added.
A mission church in East Road, Burnt Oak, dedicated to St. Paul and served from St. John, West Hendon, was consecrated in 1904; the building, which was of corrugated iron, had formerly been occupied by Burnt Oak National school. (fn. 114) It ceased to be used for worship in 1927, when the church of ST. ALPHAGE, Burnt Oak, was built in Montrose Avenue, as the centre of a new parish which covered the Watling estate; in 1970 the living was in the gift of the bishop of London. (fn. 115) The architect of the church, a plain brick building with a basilican plan in the Early Christian style, was J. E. Dixon-Spain; the church was restored in 1952 after war-damage. (fn. 116)
The ecclesiastical district of JOHN KEBLE church, Mill Hill, was created in 1932 to serve the area around the Hale. A parish was created out of St. Michael, Mill Hill, and St. Alphage, Burnt Oak, in 1937, (fn. 117) and in 1970 the patron of the living, a vicarage, was the bishop of London. (fn. 118) The congregation worshipped for the first six months of 1932 in a wooden hut in Deans Lane, before moving to a dual-purpose hall and church, later the parish hall. (fn. 119) A permanent church was consecrated in 1936. It was designed by D. E. Martin-Smith and ranked as one of the more notable modern churches in Middlesex. Built of brick around a reinforced concrete frame, it has a square plan with a flat coffered ceiling and a spacious interior unencumbered with columns. The altar is set in a recess in the east wall and there is a west gallery and tower. (fn. 120)
There was a mission church at Colindale in 1905, dedicated to St. Mellitus and served by clergy from St. John's, West Hendon. (fn. 121) With the building of St. Alphage's, Burnt Oak, in 1927, the mission church became a parish hall. (fn. 122) In 1934 the mission district of ST. MATTHIAS, Colindale, was formed out of the parishes of St. John, West Hendon, and St. Alphage. (fn. 123) Services were held in a dual-purpose church and hall in Rushgrove Avenue which had been given in that year by Christ Church, Lancaster Gate (Paddington). The district became a parish in 1951 and in 1970 the benefice was a vicarage in the gift of the bishop of London. (fn. 124) In 1972 work was started on a permanent church, behind the dual-purpose building, designed by R. W. Hurst.
In 1934 the mission church of St. Mary Magdalen, Holders Hill Road, was opened as a chapel-of-ease to St. Mary's parish church. (fn. 125) The church is a plain wooden hut. In 1958 the mission chapel of Little St. Peter, Claremont Way, was founded as a chapelof-ease to St. Peter, Cricklewood, and was served in 1970 by a deaconess. (fn. 126)