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Our History

History

All Saints' Church

With the coming of the racecourse in Queen Anne’s reign the population of Ascot increased, with grooms and other racecourse workers adding to the woodsmen and kennel workers in the area. More houses were built both to accommodate the wealthy horse owners and race goers and smaller ones to house the domestic servants, many on the north side of Ascot.

The increase in the population was even greater when the South Western Railway line came to Ascot in 1856. The nearest churches at this time were St Peter's at Cranbourne and St Michael's Sunninghill, both of which were a fair distance away unless one had a carriage. So the vicar of Cranbourne, Revd. Connyham-Ellis had a room built opposite the Royal Kennels in North Ascot which was used as a school during the week and a church on Sundays. This, however, still could not contain the large congregation so a building committee was set up in 1863 with the intention of building a church on Crown land adjacent to the Royal Hotel (This was where Grand Regency Heights now stands).

Over £2,000 was raisedInside All Saints mainly by public subscription and £100 from Queen Victoria  so that  building began almost immediately. The building was designed by Mr T H Rushforth and built by a local builder, Joseph Norris.

The building is mainly of local red brick with Portland stone pillars and other decorations and remains very similar to its original plan, to this day, though the  west porch was added in 1870 and the north aisle in 1890.  There were memorials added to the building and outside in the years since its build.

The church was consecrated by Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford and son of William Wilberforce, on 26th May 1864 with many local dignitaries in the congregation.

In 1874 Heaton, Bayne and Butler were commissioned by the Rector, Revd Kerr-Pearse  to produce murals in the sanctuary. Later the chancel roof and arch were painted and later still the paintings in the north and south aisles. These outstanding paintings  are a well-known feature of the church and were restored in the late 20th century after much fund-raising.

Our beautiful church can be viewed most days during daylight hours when there is no service in progress.

All Saints’ Hall was built adjacent to the church and opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in May 1984.   The hall is used for church activities and community functions.

King Edward's Hall and the Chapel of Saint Mary & St John  are in the centre of North Ascot and were formerly known as the Parish rooms. They were built in 1910, but burnt down and some 50 years later was replaced. A sanctuary was built in 1959 and a chapel, vestry and kitchen added in 1977 and a parsonage was built next door to the hall. Many local organisations use the hall and the Parish Office is now housed there.