St Michael and All Angels

St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, London W4. Richard Norman Shaw, 1879-80; north aisle completed to Shaw's original design, 1887; additions by Shaw's assistant Maurice Adams. Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]

This distinctive Anglo-Catholic church was planned as an important part of the Bedford Park development, for which Shaw himself was the second and most influential estate architect. At the convergence of the three main roads of the development, the building was to be the focus of the community — a parish church serving the spiritual needs of residents whose worldly needs were met by the other buildings just opposite: the Tabard Inn and adjacent stores and bank. Like the houses in Bedford Park, the church was built with bricks from local brickworks, and demonstrates Shaw's "panache in the use of the 'cocktail of styles' which characterised the Queen Anne revival" as well as "a sensitivity to the aspirations of an aesthetically minded middle class community" (St Michael & All Angels). More specifically, it combines "Perpendicular Gothic with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century domestic features" (Curl 123). The architect G. E. Street found the result "very novel" but "not very ecclesiastical." As a product of Shaw's strong Tractarian/Anglo-Catholic sympathies, the church came under fire in its early days for its "Popish and pagan mummeries" (both qted. in "Chiswick History: Churches").

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Related Material


"Chiswick History: Religion" (compiled by Gillian Clegg). Viewed 30 September 2008.

Curl, James Stevens. Victorian Architecture. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1990.

St Michael & All Angels Church, Bedford Park: History of the Building. Detailed and well illustrated chronology available at the church.

Last modified 28 September 2008