This continues the description of Camden parishes not found on www.ancestry.co.ukTo help visualise where in London these are, take a look at the outline map of St Pancras parishes in 1903 at http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/genuki/MDX/StPancras/outline.htm
Walk from St Mary Brookfield downhill into Kentish Town and you will find St Benet & All Saints in Lupton Street, towering over the backstreets. Like St Mary’s and St Annes Brookfield it is a High Victorian church with a High Anglican heritage. Situated at the north end of Kentish Town, bordering the modern borough of Islington, the church was originally part of the civil parish of St Pancras and the Pancras registration district. At the front of the church is a small raised garden, which is open for public use. The church is also referred to as St. Benet and All Saints Lady Margaret Road, Kentish Town. [1881/85] but it is not included in London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) records.
The reason for the confused date of 1881/85 is that the parish has its origins in a mission church built on a small field given by St. John’s College, Cambridge near a pond just off the Brecknock Road. Father Frank Rowland opened the original church on 17th July 1881, but it was soon outgrown by its congregation. Eventually, this chapel became the church hall.
The main church was designed by Joseph Peacock of Bloomsbury in 1884 and built quickly, with the foundation stone being laid on 13th June 1885. The saints name was chosen with reference to the Church of St. Benets, Pauls Wharf, Queen Victoria Street itself a corruption of St Benedict. The then vicar, Frank Oakley Rowland, consecrated the church only months later on All Saints Eve. Within a few years, the churchs hastily constructed foundations and a spring under the church, were creating several structural problems.
In October 1908, the architects, Bodley and Hare, built a permanent chancel. But by 1925, the foundations of the whole were so unstable that the decision was made to take down the nave and rebuild it. London County Council condemned the old nave in November 1927. However, thanks to a legacy from a rich investor, Jeannette Elizabeth Crossthwaite (1845-1923), and gifts of the faithful, a new nave, with no aisles, was built in 1928 again by Cecil G Hare. This was consecrated in November of that year by the Bishop of Willesden. By the time of her death, Miss Crossthwaite was living at 51 St Charles Square, Notting Hill, but in 1871 she had been living at 106 Brecknock Road not far from the site of St Benet.
Today St Benets is the parish church of Kentish Town. Kentish Town CofE Primary School in Islip Street (originally Kentish Town National School) is connected, and there are some records relating to this school at LMA http://search.lma.gov.uk The parish registers for St Benet and All Saints continue to be retained by the church. The churchs own website http://www.saintbenets.org.uk/ contains further details.
For more on the social classes of the parish in 1898-9, see the following page from Charles Booths Archive is at http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_only&args=528970,185490,2,large,1
1887 Herbert Edward Hall
1901 George Villiers Briscoe
1906 Henry Tristram Valentine
1913 Robert Caledon Ross
1925 Harry Herbert Coleman Richardson
1947 Cecil Eskholme Charlton
Sources: the history section on http://www.saintbenets.org.uk/; Survey of London: volume 24: The parish of St Pancras part 4: Kings Cross Neighbourhood , Walter H. Godfrey and W. McB. Marcham (editors), 1952; John Richardson, A History of Camden: Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras (Historical Publications Ltd, 1999); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin) 1998; Camden Listed Buildings website; http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk