All Saints, one of the town’s earliest churches, stood on the north corner of High Street and East Street. The medieval church on this site, sometimes referred to as All Hallows (image 1), was demolished in 1791 after existing in a state of disrepair for many decades. The new church, severely classical in style, was built between 1792 and 1795 to the design of architect John Reveley. Possibly modelled on the Temple of Minerva in Ionia, it was notable for its Corinthian pillars on the west front, and its expansive roof with stone cupola (image 4). The dome of the cupola was surmounted by a gold pineapple and a weather vane, the pineapple being a familiar landmark in the town for many years. Jane Austen, who lived in the town between 1806 and1809, was a regular worshipper at the church. In 1829 the celebrated artist and co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, John Everett Millais, was baptised here.

The church was destroyed by bombing in World War Two and never rebuilt.

All Saints’ parish was one of Southampton’s oldest traditional parishes, only a small section of which lay within the walled town enclave. To the south it stretched only as far as the north boundary of All Saints’ burial ground (the burial ground itself being excluded). On the west side of the High Street the Castle was originally extra-parochial and was only later included in the parish. South of Mount Street the parish boundary ran east to Orchard Lane which it followed northward to follow the boundary between Hoglands and Houndwell. Beyond New Road the East Marlands boundary (i.e. the east side of East Park) was followed to turn sharp east at Bellevue Street. It then followed Bellevue Terrace to Asylum Green and then on to Rockstone Place. Turning south it followed the line of the Rolles Brook which carried the boundary south to Achard’s Bridge and the shore.

Burial Ground
Situated outside the traditional All Saints parish, the burial ground lay on the south side of East Street and the west side of Back of the Walls, reaching the Star Passage on the south side. It was used for burials mainly in the 19th century. In the early years of the 20th century the tombstones were removed and the land became a play area for children. It was converted into a municipal car park (see clipping 2 below) in the 1960s and a multi-storey car park was eventually built on the site.

The new church built in 1792-5 included subterranean catacombs in which many of the town’s dignitaries were later buried (see clipping 1 below). The catacombs were reached via East Street. After the church was destroyed in 1940, the burial remains were removed to Hollybrook Cemetery.

The parish school was opened in 1848 in York Building and was described by Philip Brannon in his Picture of Southampton (1849) as a “school of superior character, the building is admirably arranged, in the Elizabethan style, constructed of red brick and Caen dressing, from the design of Mr Hinves”. The school was taken over by the School Board in 1882 and closed in 1931.

1. All Hallows Church, High Street, c.1790

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A drawing by an unknown artist of the decaying medieval church of All Hallows which was demolished to make way for All Saints Church

2. All Saints Church, 1810

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A lithograph by Day and Haghe from a drawing by W. Fletcher
showing the church in 1810.

3. All Saints Church, c.1920

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Early 20th century photograph.

4. All Saints Church, c.1920

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A view of the rear of the church giving a good view of the cupula.

Newspaper clippings:

Further reading:
All Saints: Southampton’s Lost Georgian Church, by D. G. Dixon. (HS/j)
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p394-401. (HS/h)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p7,24,29,190-1. (HS/h
Churches in and Around Southampton, by Cuthbert Monk, p3-6. (HS/j)
Picture of Southampton (1849), by Philip Brannon, p24, 42-43 (HS/h)
A Walk through Southampton, by H. C. Englefield (1802), p30-32, 85-86, (HS/h)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p91. (HS/h)
'William Hinves and Alfred Bedborough: architects in nineteenth-century Southampton', by Richard Preston in the Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no17, Autumn 2010, p12-13. (HS/h


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