The History of All Saints’ Church, Childs Hill

The district chapelry of ALL SAINTS, Childs Hill, was formed in 1857 out of the southern part of St. Mary’s parish, services having formerly been held in a laundry belonging to Mrs Hipwell. It was served by a perpetual curate, appointed by the vicar of Hendon, but by 1878 the living was described as a vicarage, in the gift of trustees. The patronage was transferred in 1908 by Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt.,and others to the bishop of London, with whom it remained in 1970.

The church, which was consecrated in 1856, it was designed, like the adjacent redbrick vicarage, by Thomas Talbot Bury. It is built of ragstone in the ‘middle pointed’ style and had originally only a short aisled chancel and a nave, although it was probably intended to been enlarged later; the north aisle and transept were added in 1878 and the south aisle and transept in1884.The church was badly damaged by fire in 1940 and restored in 1952.

Childs Hill is the most south-eastern point of the ancient parish of Hendon, and is now a part of the London Borough Barnet. The settlement of Childs Hill is certainly medieval, possibly the 10th century settlement Codenhleawe (which has come down to us as Cowhouse), and was owned by Westminster Abbey.

Although a John Knot de Childes Hill is associated with the Peasants Revolt, the earliest known use of the place name Childs Hill is 1593. The name is probably taken from a family of the same name who held land in Hendon in the 14th century. It has been suggested that the Castle Inn was a small Civil War (1642-49) gun emplacement guarding the Edgware Road. The first record of the Castle Inn however is 1751.

Childs Hill was a centre for brick and tile making during the second half of the 18th Century, supplying material for building Hampstead (which is to the east nearby), and run by a Samuel Morris. Being more than 259 feet above sea level (at the Castle Inn), Childs Hill is visible for miles around.From 1808 to 1847 there was an optical telegraph station, on in a line from the Admiralty to Great Yarmouth. Only the name, Telegraph Hill, remains.

An Act of Parliament, 1826, allowed for the construction of the Finchley Road (completed by 1829) with a tollgate at the Castle Inn. In the early 1850s a Colonel Evans built houses in a field called The Mead (later renamed Granville Road). By the 1870s a number of laundries, servicing much of Victorian-era West London, were established in the Mead.

Clothes washed in London were thought to be susceptible to water-borne disease, such as cholera and typhoid, and Childs Hill, then still in the countryside was supplied by a series of small streams coming off Hampstead Heath. The population in the area was growing quickly. In 1856 a new church, All Saints, was built (the third church in the Parish of Hendon).

Further extensions were added between 1878 and 1884, and in 1940 the church was so badly damaged by fire that it had to be substantially rebuilt in 1952. In 1884 the Pyramid Light Works, a candle manufactory, was established, the first factory in the Hendon area.
The opening of Childs Hill Railway Station, now Cricklewood Station, in 1868 led to an increase in population and the subsequent overcrowding reduced Childs Hill into a very low place with cock-fighting, drunkenness, and vice.

Housing in Childs Hill in 1903 was described as a disgrace to civilisation and in 1914 Hendon Urban District Council built its first council estate with 50 houses. In 1901 the land between Childs Hill and Golders Green to the north was still farmland, but with the motorbuses (1906) the tube at Golders Green (1907), the trams (1909), and finally the Hendon Way (1927) farmland succumbed to suburbia, and the distinction between Golders Green and Childs Hill was blurred.

For entertainment Childs Hill had The Regal in the Finchley Road (1929), which was first a skating rink, then a cinema and then a bowling alley. In the early 1960s many of the small Victorian houses in the Mead and around the Castle Inn were demolished.

Sunday Worship

8am Holy Communion
10am Parish Communion

Sunday School

Every Sunday at 10am in Church Hall (not during school holidays). The children’s activities take place in the Church hall and then they join the Church Service for a blessing. Under 3-years-olds must be accompanied.

All Saints’ Church is open for prayer and is a place for quiet reflection every day apart from Monday. 

If you would like to have your child Baptised (Christened) or have a Service of Thanksgiving for their birth, please contact the Vicar