All Saints’ Church

IMG_5329All Saints’ is a most unusual village church. It was built in 1689, after the restoration of the monarchy, and some eight years after the completion wardenry and almshouses opposite the church. The group of buildings is an architectural gem and a sensational setting for a music festival. The benefactor for all these projects was Sir Stephen Fox, the son of a woodcutter who lived in Farley. Fox was educated at the grammar school in Salisbury and subsequently made his way to London.IMG_5193

He became a member of the court of Charles II and went into exile with the King. After the restoration of the monarchy he was appointed Paymaster of the Army. He collaborated with Sir Christopher Wren in the building of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Subsequently, he put up the money for the building of the church, wardenry and almshouses in the village of his birth. Although it cannot be categorically established that Wren designed these buildings we do know that his master mason supervised the work and the Wren influence in the simple design is unmistakable. The church has wonderful acoustics and a comfortable audience capacity of 150 people.

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