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The History of our Grade II* Listed Building

The Landmark Arts Centre was formerly the Church of St Alban the Martyr.

Alban lived at some time in the third century in the Roman city of Verulamium. Although a worshipper of Roman gods, he gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from persecution. Influenced by the priest’s prayer and teaching, he converted to Christianity. Though never designated as a cathedral, St Alban’s was known informally as ‘the Cathedral of the Thames Valley’.

The foundation stone was laid in 1887 and the church was designed in the French Gothic style by architect William S Niven FSA JP (his name is engraved on the external wall at the west end of the south aisle wall). Niven, who lived locally and who had been a pupil of renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, was also involved with the restoration of the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey.

The first vicar was the Reverend Francis Leith Boyd MA, who had been appointed as Vicar of Teddington in 1884 when he was 28, officiating at the parish church St Mary’s. It was he who commissioned the design of this church, and when it was dedicated in 1889, he and the congregation and other clergy moved across the road from St Mary’s. In 1908 he was appointed Vicar of St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, where he remained until his death in 1927, aged 74. He is buried in Teddington cemetery.

The building was declared redundant in 1977, fell into disrepair and suffered through neglect and vandalism. However, thanks to a robust campaign led by local people it was restored by English Heritage in the early 1990s.

Features of this amazing building

  • St Alban, the patron saint. The replacement in 1952 was designed by Frederick Cole and made by the William Morris Studio. Beneath a figure of God stands St Alban enthroned, with scenes from his life either side.

  • Joseph’s Dream. The designer is unknown, but possibly Reverend Boyd, the first Vicar of St Alban’s. Painted by W F Dixon and made in 1895, dedicated to the memory of Edward and Margaret Russ-Browne (1830-94).

  • Jonah and the Whale by the highly-regarded Kempe Studio in 1896. Designed by C E Kempe and modelled on a window in Christ Church, Oxford.

  • This triple lancet window – by Ward and Hughes – was made c1850 and had been originally installed in St Peter’s Church, Islington. Rescued in 1987 by the London Stained-Glass Repository of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, it was dismantled and re-leaded for installation at the Landmark in 1992.

  • This was designed and made in 2002/03 especially to hang in the Landmark by students and tutors at Richmond Adult College.

  • The location of the pulpit placed halfway down the nave follows the French style. A simple canopy had been erected initially, but it was replaced in 1902 by a magnificent design in carved oak. The new canopy was embellished by gilded representations of three orders of angels.


  • The three statues represent (l-r), Abbot Wareham, All Saints and Edward the Confessor and are all that remain of the once beautiful All Saints Chapel. The original altarpiece was a copy of one in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster. On the left of the bar area there is an alcove and canopy which housed a statue of St Alban which sadly did not survive the vandals.

  • Most of the stonework is in Doulton limestone from Shepton Mallet, Somerset. The finer grain material used internally in partitions is Corsham limestone from Wiltshire.