A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.
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The church at Ealing was in the gift of the bishop of London c. 1127, when he gave the great tithes to Canon Henry for keeping St. Paul's cathedral school. (fn. 1) Later the school was kept by the chancellor of St. Paul's, to whom the bishop appropriated the church in 1308 on condition that he acted as reader of theology at the school. The patronage of the vicarage was reserved to the bishop in 1308 and thereafter remained with him, except during the Interregnum. (fn. 2) The church served the whole parish (fn. 3) until part of Ealing was assigned to St. George's, Old Brentford, in 1828 and a new district was formed for Christ the Saviour in 1852.
A vicarage was ordained, with a pension of £10, in 1308. (fn. 4) A revised arrangement in 1315 assigned to the vicar the house where he lived, part of the glebe, the small tithes, and the offerings; the rector received the great tithes, the rectory house, and most of the glebe. (fn. 5) The vicarage was worth £13 6s. 8d. in 1535, (fn. 6) £60 in 1650, (fn. 7) and between £600 and £700 in 1853. (fn. 8) There were 40 a. of vicarial glebe in 1650, (fn. 9) part of which was sold c. 1900. (fn. 10) The small tithes were worth £25 in 1650 (fn. 11) and £663 in 1799, (fn. 12) and were redeemed for £600 rent charge in 1840. (fn. 13) In 1530 tithes were assessed by custom as at Hayes (fn. 14) and after a dispute in 1708 it was confirmed that there was a modus on cows and calves and that some fodder crops were not tithable. (fn. 15) Most of the tithes were compounded in 1799. (fn. 16)
The vicarage house of 1315 (fn. 17) was presumably where its successor stood in 4¾ a. between the Park and Grange and St. Mary's roads in 1915. (fn. 18) A red-brick house, said to be 250 years old in 1900, (fn. 19) was improved by Colston Carr, vicar 1797-1822, and was commodious in 1816 and 1845. (fn. 20) Standing south of the church, it had decayed by 1900 and was rebuilt to an expensive design by W. A. Pite. (fn. 21) In 1939 part of the site was sold (fn. 22) and in 1969 a new Vicarage was built at no. 11 Church Place, on part of the old burial ground. (fn. 23) A church house, recorded from 1492, (fn. 24) was leased out in 1611 (fn. 25) and accommodated the assistant curate in 1797. (fn. 26)
Walter, son of the bishop of London, owed 10 marks to Henry I for his judgement concerning Ealing church (fn. 27) and may have been rector. Some medieval vicars were pluralists (fn. 28) but in the 15th and 16th centuries most were resident at least occasionally. (fn. 29) Robert Cooper, vicar from 1638, was replaced c. 1645 (fn. 30) and Thomas Gilbert, vicar 1651-60, a Scottish Congregationalist, was ejected and remembered as proto-martyr of nonconformity. (fn. 31) William Beveridge, vicar 1661-73, was later bishop of St. Asaph. William Hall, vicar 1702-16, seldom resided; (fn. 32) Dr. Thomas Mangey, vicar 1730-54, a prolific writer, (fn. 33) resided more often in his later than in his earlier years; (fn. 34) Charles Sturgess, vicar 1773-97, did so for only part of the year. (fn. 35) Later vicars were normally resident: Sir Herbert Oakley, Bt. (d. 1845), vicar 1822-34, pioneered modern methods of parochial organization, (fn. 36) which E. W. Relton, vicar 1856-86, and his successors greatly extended. (fn. 37) From 1719 there was usually an assistant curate. (fn. 38) St. Mary's often had two in the 20th century and as many as four in 1907 and 1973-4, but only one in 1980. (fn. 39)
The churchwardens held 1 a. in Old Brentford in 1423. (fn. 40) Other benefactions (fn. 41) included those of Thomas Curtis, vicar 1451-78, who gave a cottage, garden, 5½ a., and an orchard to maintain an obit, and William Turner, vicar 1478-99, who gave 4 a. later called Churchbread for an obit and poor relief. (fn. 42) Before 1533 John Buckmaster surrendered a cottage to William Needler to provide an obit, for which in 1541 Needler left a rent charge of 7s. In 1547, in addition to the three obits, there was 1 a. given by one Needler for a lamp and property endowing an unobserved obit of the Ingram family. (fn. 43) After the chantry lands had passed to the Crown, those of Turner and Curtis were sold in 1548 to Thomas Tanner and Henry Butcher. (fn. 44) In 1629 John Bowman, chancellor of St. Paul's and rector of Ealing, left £40 a year to endow four afternoon sermons at Ealing church, to be delivered by a licensed lecturer. (fn. 45) The lectureship was held by the vicar in 1869, when it was intended that the stipend should be spent on an assistant curate. (fn. 46) Seven parishioners were excommunicated by the vicar for recusancy and incontinence (fn. 47) in 1613 and services were disturbed in 1653 and 1655. (fn. 48) E. W. Relton preached frequently against Rome, yet in 1866 he saved a new reredos; the reredos was considered Romanist, as were other ornaments in the new church, particularly a cross in the chancel. (fn. 49) There were attendances of 350 in the morning and 300 in the afternoon on census Sunday 1851 (fn. 50) and of 733 in the morning and 610 in the afternoon on one Sunday in 1903. (fn. 51)
The church of ST. MARY, called St. Mary of the Assumption in 1446, (fn. 52) stands at the south end of St. Mary's Road, at least the second building on the site. A church stood there in the late 14th century and included a nave, chancel, and north chapel or Little Ealing aisle; (fn. 53) there was also a chapel of St. Anne, containing an image of the Holy Trinity in 1504, where the Frowyks were buried. (fn. 54) A bell tower, mentioned in 1490, was rebuilt or enlarged c. 1495. (fn. 55) There were lights in 1408 to St. Mary, described in 1464 as Our Lady of Pity, St. Catherine, and St. Nicholas, (fn. 56) in 1419 to the Holy Cross, (fn. 57) from 1468 to St. Christopher, in 1471 to St. Anthony, and from 1473 to All Souls. (fn. 58) There was a rood by 1445 (fn. 59) and a feretory by 1490. (fn. 60) The church required frequent repair in the 1650s (fn. 61) and was so ruinous c. 1675 that services were held elsewhere for several years. Worshippers moved to a wooden tabernacle in 1726 and the steeple fell in 1729, destroying the church. (fn. 62)
A brief for rebuilding was obtained in 1733 (fn. 63) and the shell of the fabric was complete in 1739, when an Act permitted borrowing on security of the rates. (fn. 64) Opened in 1740, (fn. 65) the new church was of brick to a plain design by James Horne and seated 1,070 in 1828. (fn. 66) It was simple in plan, with no chancel and the west tower and north-west vestry standing in the body of the church. A double row of windows lit galleries along three sides. (fn. 67) A cupola was added to the tower in 1754 but removed in 1838, (fn. 68) and the seating was increased c. 1810 and again in 1824, when there were extensive repairs. (fn. 69) The church was still regarded favourably in 1822 (fn. 70) but seen as unsightly in 1861, when repairs and more seating were needed.
The existing church, of brown brick with coloured brick and stone dressings, consists of an apsidal aisled chancel with ambulatory, north organ chamber and vestries, clerestoried nave with processional aisles, south baptistery, north porch, west tower, and west porch. The 18thcentury church was remodelled and extended between 1865 and 1873 in a Venetian style by S. S. Teulon. The roof was raised, window tracery, stained glass, and buttresses were inserted, and the chancel and many other parts were added. Only a projected west spire was omitted. (fn. 71) In 1920 a new chapel was dedicated (fn. 72) and in 1935 the vestries were enlarged. (fn. 73) The church was restored in 1955 (fn. 74) and the church lounge was added on the south in 1959 and much enlarged as the parish centre in 1977-8, (fn. 75) when Ealing L.B. bought the parish hall of 1884 in Warwick Road. (fn. 76) Modern architectural assessments of the church are unfavourable. (fn. 77)
The ancient pillared font was replaced in 1743. (fn. 78) There is a brass of c. 1490 to Richard Amondesham or Awnsham and an alabaster tablet to Richard Taverner (d. 1638). (fn. 79) Other monuments include those to Oliver Stapleton (d. 1811) by T. and G. Marshall, to Thomas Smith (d. 1823) by Sarah Holmes of Brentford, to Richard Gray (d. 1825) by William Pistell, to Sir Jonathan Miles (d. 1821) by Charles Regnart, to Henry Beaufoy (d. 1795) by Richard Westmacott the elder, and to Charles Hutchinson (d. 1828) by Sir Richard Westmacott. (fn. 80) Among those buried in the church or churchyard were John Oldmixon (1673-1742) and Robert Orme (1728-1801), historians, Dr. William King (1685-1763), Jacobite and principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, Sir Frederick Morton Eden, Bt. (1766-1809), writer on the poor, and John Horne Tooke (1736-1812), philologist and radical politician, who was commemorated by an American monument erected in the church in 1919. (fn. 81) There were three silver chalices in 1552, besides other goods, (fn. 82) but in 1885 there was only a silver bowl and cover; (fn. 83) the church later acquired 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century silver. (fn. 84) There were 5 bells in 1552; (fn. 85) 5 were melted down in 1739, when 8 were hung, and there were still 8 in 1955. (fn. 86) The registers begin in 1582. (fn. 87)
Most of Lower Side was in the district assigned to St. George's, Old Brentford, in 1828. (fn. 88) Consequently there were only 650 attendances from the rest of the old parish at St. Mary's in 1851. (fn. 89) There were 10,289 worshippers at ten churches and mission churches in 1903, when Ealing had one of the highest attendances in and around London. Seven churches were already permanent and ultimately there were to be twelve, besides several longstanding missions. Such large districts were assigned in 1852 to Christ Church and in 1876 to St. John's that St. Mary's had relatively few daughter churches, whereas Christ Church had four and St. Stephen's and St. John's three each. Ealing Ruri-Decanal Association, founded in 1859, helped to establish new churches by making grants and lending iron churches. (fn. 90) By 1916 there were eleven permanent churches, eight of them in central Ealing between the Piccadilly and G.W.R. lines and five in the small area between Ealing village, the Broadway, and Ealing common. Ealing was still the 'most Sabbath-loving suburb in London' in 1926, (fn. 91) but the only foundation after the First World War was Ascension church, in the north part of the parish. In the Second World War St. Saviour's was bombed and several missions failed to survive. In 1903 by far the best attended churches were St. Saviour's and St. John's, respectively Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical but both in working-class areas, whereas in 1978 it was churches in the poorer districts which showed signs of retreat.
Elm Grove Rd., Ealing common. Built on site of former Elm Grove, given by Leopold de Rothschild, by bequest of Miss Frederica Elizabeth Perceval in memory of Spencer Perceval (1762-1812), prime minister. Chapel of ease of St. Mary's until dist. assigned 1948. Patron bp. of London. Stone bldg. in mixed Gothic style 1905 by W. A. Pite: chancel, N. chapel, S. organ chamber and vestries, aisled and clerestoried nave, N. and S. porches, NW. tower, apsidal W. baptistery. (fn. 92)
ASCENSION church, Beaufort Rd., Hanger Hill. Served by London Diocesan Home Mission until parish formed 1948. Patron bp. of London. Iron church used c. 1937-9. Buff brick bldg. in a Georgian style 1939 by Seely & Paget: apsidal sanctuary with ambulatory, chancel beneath lantern tower, N. and S. vestries, aisled nave with dormers in roof. (fn. 93)
ST. BARNABAS, (fn. 94) Pitshanger Lane. Mission of St. Stephen's from 1907 until dist. assigned 1917. Patron bp. of London. Iron church, later hall, at corner of Castlebar Rd. built 1908 and destroyed 1942. Dark red brick bldg. in French Gothic style 1914-16 by E. C. Shearman at corner of Denison Rd., seating 1,000: (fn. 95) apsidal chancel with ambulatory, N. vestries, apsidal S. chapel, clerestoried nave with processional aisles and galleried N. and S. transepts, W. organ gallery over baptistery; two-storeyed NW. and SW. porches are lower stages of uncompleted towers. (fn. 96) Damaged by fire 1962. High Church 1978.
CHRIST THE SAVIOUR, (fn. 97) Ealing Broadway, built as Christ Church (fn. 98) at expense of Miss Rosa Frances Lewis (d. 1862) of Castle Hill Ho. Dist. assigned 1852. (fn. 99) Patron Miss Lewis, with remainders to W. E. Hilliard, who presented his brother 1859, (fn. 100) and, from 1864, bp. of London. Three asst. curates 1896, one in 1926, two in 1947, one in 1973-4. Attendance 1903: 461 a.m.; 447 p.m. First V., William Lambert, suspended for immorality 1856. Move towards AngloCatholicism begun by W. Templeton King, V. 1895-1929. Bldg. of Kentish rag with Bath stone dressings in early Decorated style 1850-2 by G. G. (later Sir Geo. Gilbert) Scott: aisled chancel, SE. chapel, aisled and clerestoried nave, S. porch, W. tower with spire. Redecorated by G. F. Bodley 1903-8, N. vestry 1904. NE. chapel 1919 by C. G. Hare, from former chancel aisle. Church restored 1946-52. High Church 1978. Renamed on reunion of benefice with St. Saviour 1952. Vicarage ho. by Scott c. 1865, (fn. 101) demol. 1930.
GOOD SHEPHERD church, at corner of South Ealing and Temple lds. Mission church and institute of St. Mary's, for S. part of parish, but with own min. 1906. Services in hall 1905 by W. A. Pite, seating 300. (fn. 102) Hall sold to Assyrian church 1978. (fn. 103)
ST. JAMES, (fn. 104) Ealing Dean. Mission church of St. John's from 1890 until dist. assigned 1905. (fn. 105) Patron bp. of London. One asst. curate 1926 and 1935, none in 1947. Attendance 1903: 168 a.m.; 183 p.m. Iron church in Alexandra Rd. used until 1904. Red-brick bldg. with stone dressings in early Gothic style 1903-4 by W. Pywell in St. James's Ave., seating c. 770: chancel, NE. chapel, nave with N. and S. aisles. Suspended benefice, served from St. John's, from 1977. (fn. 106)
ST. JOHN, (fn. 107) Ealing Dean. Mission church of Christ Church from 1865 until dist. assigned from Christ Church and St. Mary's 1876. (fn. 108) Patron bp. of London. One asst. curate 1896, two in 1907 and 1935, none in 1947, four in 1977-9. Attendance 1903: 1,116 a.m.; 1,058 p.m. Evangelical tradition established under Julius Summerhayes, curate and V. 1867-1903, and son Julius James Summerhayes, V. 1903-39. Temp. church in St. John's Rd. used until 1867, thereafter wooden church at corner of Mattock Lane and Churchfield Rd., enlarged 1868 and 1870 to seat 750, used until 1876. Yellow brick bldg. in early Gothic style 1876 by E. H. Horne, on island site at junction of Mattock Lane with Broomfield Place and Broomfield Rd.: chancel, central tower, N. and S. transepts, aisled and clerestoried nave. Repaired 1878-83 (fn. 109) but badly damaged by fire 1920, when services were held in Griffith Davies memorial hall, built 1917. Church repaired by F. Hall-Jones (fn. 110) 1923. Damaged by lightning 1928, (fn. 111) W. end remodelled as church lounge 1970, on sale of Griffith Davies and Jubilee (1929) halls, and crypt remodelled for recreation 1973, on sale of Peal and Summerhayes memorial hall, built 1904. Northfield mission hall, at corner of Northfield Ave. and Dudley Gdns., opened 1901 (fn. 112) and used as Sunday sch. 1977. Attendance 1903: 79 p.m.
ST. LUKE, at corner of Lynton Ave. and Courtfield Gdns., Drayton Green. Mission church of St. Stephen's from 1901. Attendance 1903: 159 a.m.; 86 p.m. Iron church was sold 1952 and became Ealing Liberal synagogue. (fn. 113)
ST. MATTHEW, (fn. 114) North Common Rd., Ealing common. Dist. assigned from St. Mary's and Christ Church 1885. (fn. 115) Patron bp. of London. One asst. curate 1907, none in 1926. Attendance 1903: 638 a.m.; 253 p.m. Iron church in Grange Pk. used from 1872. Brown and red brick bldg. in early Gothic style by Alfred Jowers, on site given by Edward Wood, seating 935, (fn. 116) built 1883-4, not oriented: apsidal chancel, apsidal NW. organ chamber and vestries and NE. chapel, aisled and clerestoried nave, base of unfinished SW. tower, W. porches. Shared with Polish Roman Catholics 1978. (fn. 117)
ST. PAUL, Northcroft Rd., Northfields. Dist. assigned from St. John's 1907. Patron bp. of London. One asst. curate 1947. Yellow brick bldg. with stone dressings in late Gothic style 1906-7 by F. Hall-Jones and E. S. Cummings: chancel, N. vestries and organ chamber, apsidal S. chapel, aisled nave, S. porches, N. porch. Seating reduced from 850 to 650 by 1978. (fn. 118)
ST. PETER, (fn. 119) Mount Park Rd. Mission church of Christ Church from 1882 and dedicated to St. Andrew until 1889. Dist. assigned 1894. (fn. 120) Patron V. of Christ Church, then bp. of London. One asst. curate 1896, two in 1955-6, one in 1973-4. Attendance 1903: 584 a.m.; 283 p.m. Iron church, seating 1,044 in 1898, on land given by John Clark Record, used 1882-93. Yellow brick and Box stone bldg. in a Decorated style, designed by J. D. Sedding 1889 and built by H. Wilson 1892-3: chancel, N. organ chamber over vestries, S. chapel, aisled nave with triforium and gallery, W. baptistery and entrance under large window; roof turrets, linked by depressed arches, repeat arcades within. E. end of chancel, with tower and spire, not built. Seating reduced to 540 by 1978. High Church 1978.
ST. SAVIOUR, (fn. 121) the Grove. Mission church of Christ Church from 1881 until dist. assigned 1916. Patron bp. of London. Three asst. curates 1947, none in 1955-6. Attendance 1903: 1,397 a.m.; 1,131 p.m. Anglo-Catholic tradition under A. C. Buckell, curate and V. 1897-1936. Brick bldg. with stone dressings (fn. 122) begun 1897 by G. H. Fellowes Prynne: chancel, aisled nave, baptistery. Bombed 1940, services thereafter held in parish hall called Little St. Saviour's until union with Christ Church 1951. Crenellated gateway and clergy ho. by Fellowes Prynne 1909. (fn. 123)
ST. STEPHEN, (fn. 124) Castle Hill. Dist. assigned 1876 from Christ Church. (fn. 125) Patron bp. of London, from c. 1940 chapter of St. Paul's. One asst. curate 1896, three in 1907, two in 1926 and 1973-4, none in 1977-9. Attendance 1903: 570 a.m.; 303 p.m. Iron church 1867-76. Bldg. of ragstone, with ashlar dressings, in Decorated style, eventually seating 686: chancel, nave, and N. aisle 1875-6 by J. Ashdown; S. aisle, S. transeptal chapel, and S. organ chamber completed 1880 by A. Rovedino; NW. tower and spire 1888-91 by Sir Arthur Blomfield. Church repaired 1951, 1953, and modernized 1966 but unsafe 1978 and closed by 1979, when hall was used for worship. (fn. 126)