Search site

All Saints Church, Benhilton

Benhilton was originally part of Sutton parish but as the population grew a separate church was needed.

All Saints Road, Sutton, Surrey

All Saints Church Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Benhilton Parish was created in 1863 and the foundation stone of the church was laid in the same year. The building owed much to Thomas Alcock who was then lord of the manor and gave £18,000 towards the building, plus the land for the church, the vicarage and a school. The church was designed by J. S Teulon. The church was almost certainly intended to be a key amenity for Benhilton estate, an area of upper class housing which Alcock was developing on the land to the east.

The nave and south aisle were finished first, The tower and chancel were added in 1867 and the north aisle was not fully roofed until 1906.

Many memorial windows were given in the 19th and early 20th century but almost all the stained glass was lost when the church was severely damaged by bombs in the Second World War. The survivor was a small window in the north porch.

The Organ was built by Willis and was completed in 1870.

Benhilton is noted for its bells from the beginning. The first was the tenor bell which was presented by Thomas Alcock and was rung on the day the church was consecrated. The framework for a complete peel was fixed in the tower in 1877. Another bell was added the same year, and a third the year after. There were six by 1882 and all eight were inaugurated in 1893.

The chancel screen was erected in 1911 as a memorial to the memory of Lionel Detmar, an architect and member of the congregation who had designed the screens between the chancel and the organ chamber and Lady Chapel. He had been asked to design the chancel screen but he fell from a horse and died. The screen was then erected in his memory.

In 1944 the church was severely damaged by bombing and the services had to stop. The services were transferred to the church hall and then, when that was bombed, to St Nicholas. Worship resumed at Whitsun 1945 but the church was very dark as the windows had lost their glass and were boarded up. The nave roof was covered by tarpaulins and the aisles by zinc roofing. The building was eventually restored.