The All Saints Church Windsor, part of the Oxford Diocese is a friendly C of E church built in 1863 as the ‘daughter’ of the All Saints Church, Dedworth Windsor. At the time the Dedworth parish church was deemed too small and after receiving approval and money from Queen Victoria, the second All Saints Church was build on Frances Rd Windsor. Interestingly, the author of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ and other works, Thoma Hardy, designed the church. Originally Hardy trained and worked as a draughtsman and architect in the 1860’s working on many churches, All Saints Church Windsor being one of then. In 1970 some Hardy’s designs were amongst those found behind the church organ. At the time it was not thought that any of the Hardy’s designs were realised, a recent headline Thomas Hardy altarpiece discovered in Windsor church
proves that in fact, one survived. Discovered by accident while searching for the Church’s foundation stone, this fabulous discovery has surprised everyone. Hidden away beneath lovely wood panelling some time in the 1920’s the ornamental fixture, known as reredos needs extensive work to remove the panels. This has to be done carefully so as not to damage the panels, themselves a fine example of wood panelling not to be destroyed. The church is trying to raise £9,000 to ensure the reredos is available for all to view. Certainly, this will be popular with Hardy devotees and once available to view, will put the church on the tourist map, not only because of Hardy but also to see a superb example of Victorian Gothic religious art.

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