London: All Saints, Margaret Street

Animals in War Memorial

I like to think I’m a creature of the enlightenment, so in matters of religion I distrust distrust candles, incense and ritual; but on the other hand I adore the excesses of Victorian architecture. This means I’m a sucker for truly extreme Victorian High Anglicanism in the form known as Tractarianism.

All Saints was built precisely to celebrate that tradition by William Butterfield, the architectural high-priest of the movement (he also did Keble College Oxford in exactly the same style.) Nowadays I suspect All Saints is an impossibly over-ornate church on a cramped site, pushing an outmoded version of the faith with only an eclectic congregation to push it to…but I still love the place.

No photos of the lovely interior here, but do have a look at the glorious All Saints Margaret Street website – and wonder at them. Outside, well, you get the idea… imagine architecture crossed with Fair-Isle knitting.