All Hallows was established
in the mid-13th century (presumably replacing an earlier church on the same site),
but only the bases of the nave pillars and some of the lower sections of the walls
remain from this date. The tower and most of the fabric date from the 14th and
15th centuries, but there are bits and pieces from every century since (the south
porch is Tudor, for example), and a variety of materialsstone, brick, and
flint. However, alone amongst the churches of the old Edmonton Hundred, it appears
to have kept its original medieval structure more or less intact until it was
restored by Henry Butterfield in 1876. Like many other church restorations
of the Victorian period, Butterfields had far more to do with turning All
Hallows into the contemporary notion of what a medieval parish church ought
to look like than simply making good and mending the existing fabricin the
opinion of Butterfield and other Victorian architects the original builders had,
basically, got it all wrong. As a result, the rood screen, the last surviving
in Edmonton Hundred, bit the dust, along with several medieval and Tudor brasses,
and other monuments were shifted from their original positions.
The church has some noteworthy stained glass; there are a couple of good Victorian
examples from Butterfields time, but far betteraccording to Nikolaus
Pevsners Middlesex volume of The Buildings of England the second-best
in the countyare two very fine 16th or 17th century Flemish or French windows
at the eastern end of the church. There are also some some notable 16th and 17th
century monuments (photos will soon appear on the Monumental Inscriptions page),
although none is in the same class as the Frowick tombs at South Mimms.
Several of the engravings show a curious domed structure at the eastern end of
the church. It is, or rather was, a vestry built and endowed by Lord Coleraine
in 1696, upon condition that he and his family should possess the vault beneath.
The dome and obelisk were removed in 1855, having become structurally unsound,
and the rest of the edifice was demolished at some later datealthough it
was still standing in 1873, being referred to in the description of the church
in the Middlesex Trade Directory for that year.