The Church of England

Diocese of Oxford


All Saints' Church, Frances Road, Windsor


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Thomas Hardy altar piece



In 2014 the congregation of All Saints' celebrated the church's 150th anniversary.


Some members were inspired by the occasion to hunt for the foundation stone and in the course of their investigations were surprised to discover an altarpiece (reredos), originally designed for All Saints', concealed behind wooden panelling which had been installed at the east end in the 1920s.


The elaborate stonework was designed by Thomas Hardy, during his years as an apprentice architect in Arthur Blomfield's firm. Thomas Hardy is better known as an English novelist and poet who wrote among many other works, Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Ubervilles.


Until 2014 the altarpiece's existence had passed out of living memory and the design had been thought to be speculative. Thanks to many generous donations, the altarpiece was fully uncovered and restored in 2017.


 Thomas Hardy Reredos design Thomas Hardy Design


Play VideoThe BBC have made a short video about the discovery - select here to view
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