CHELSEA OLD CHURCH

 

By the river down a little back street in the Royal Borough is Chelsea Old Church, The Parish Church of All Saints. To all the World this is a country church in the centre of a City.

There has been a church on this site since 1157 and this was the church of the Thameside parish of Chelsea. The church consists of a square Nave, the tower and a Chancel flanked by aisles or chapels. When approached from Cheyne Row to the East the church presents an ancient prospect with the varied gables of the Chancel, Lawrence and More Chapels. The view from the West is dramatically different for this is entirely the work of Fifties architect Walter Godfrey, who restored the church after severe bombing during the Blitz.  In 1958 the entire church was reconsecrated by the Bishop of London, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. 

Inside the church there is a fine gallery and organ case and many grand memorials to Chelsea grandees. The capitals of the pillars leading to the Chancel are reputed to have been designed by Holbein no less.

The modern Petyt Hall and adjoining church offices form another beautiful addition to this ever evolving and tranquil corner of Chelsea.