Dean – All Hallows

Dean, All Hallows

The parish church of All Hallows in Dean is situated in the village of Upper Dean in the north of Bedfordshire. The church is situated to the north of the main road through the village, the High St. Parking is available on the roadside outside the church. The church has been known as All Saints with the name Hallows deriving from the old English meaning saint or holy person.

Web Site: stoddenchurches.com

Reference - Booklet: All Hallows' Church, Dean - available from the church.


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The church has consists of a chancel, nave, two aisles with chapels, a west tower with a steeple and a south porch. The chancel is around 30 feet by 13 feet with the nave being 43 feet by 16 feet. The two aisles add about 11 feet each side and the tower is about 10 feet by 9 feet and about 76 feet high.

Dean, All Hallows. South chapel, east window.

The south chapel has two identical windows to the east and south.

Both are three-light cinquefoiled windows with perpendicular tracery under a four-centred arch.

The east window of the chapel has some medieval stained glass in various fragments.

Dean, All Hallows. South chapel, east window internal.

Dean, All Hallows. South aisle, from the south-west.

The south aisle windows are also alike, two to the east of the porch and one to the west with a further window at the west end of the aisle.

These windows are all three-light cinquefoiled windows under four-centred arches.

Dean, All Hallows. South aisle window.
Dean, All Hallows. West window and clock.

The west window is of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil tracery under a pointed arch.

The belfry openings are of similar design with more richly moulded outer orders.

The one-handed clock face on the west face is of C17 origin.

Dean, All Hallows. Belfry opening.

Between the two eastern south aisle windows is the priest's door under an ogee head.

The church is embattled throughout with the exception of the tower parapet. The clerestory has four, three-light cinquefoiled windows under four-centred arches on each side.

Dean, All Hallows. Priest's door.

The south porch has small two-light trefoiled windows under four-centred arches to the east and west. The south doorway is in a three-centred or basket arch on the inside and four-centred on the outside. The main door features an inset door with an ogee head.

Dean, All Hallows. South porch.
Dean, All Hallows. South doorway.
Dean, All Hallows. South door internal.
Dean, All Hallows. Tower from the west.

The tower has three stages with the middle being quite a short stage leading to a plain parapet and spire beyond.

The tower has angle buttresses and the parapet has a moulded string carved with grotesque heads and gargoyles in the middle of each side.

The octagonal steeple has two levels of lucarnes facing the cardinal points of the compass.

Dean, All Hallows. Tower parapet and steeple.
Dean, All Hallows. View from the north-west.

The north aisle has windows to the west and two windows on either side of the north doorway. They are each three-light cinquefoiled windows under depressed four-centred arches.

Dean, All Hallows. North aisle window.
Dean, All Hallows. North door.

The north doorway dates from C13 and is secured by a wooden crossbar inside.

Dean, All Hallows. North door internal.
Dean, All Hallows. North aisle window.

The north chapel is now used as a vestry and has windows to the north and east.

The north facing window is similar to the other windows in the aisle although the arch is more depressed.

The east window of the aisle is similar to that on the south chapel although slightly shorter in height.

Dean, All Hallows. North chapel, east window.
Dean, All Hallows. View from the east.

The chancel has single windows to north and south each of three cinquefoiled lights under four-centred arches.

Dean, All Hallows. Chancel window.

Dean, All Hallows. East window.

The east window is similarly of three cinquefoiled lights under a depressed four-centred arch and has two corbel carvings unusually placed above the window for decoration.

The chancel east window glass was glazed as a memorial to Richard Verity who died in 1857 and was a major property owner in the village.

Dean, All Hallows. East window internal.

Dean, All Hallows. South aisle, piscina.

The south chapel has a piscina which like the stoup was damaged in the Reformation.

Inside the south aisle, the holy water stoup is to the left of the south door and was damaged during the Reformation in C16.

Dean, All Hallows. Holy water stoup.

Near the south door is the octagonal font which dates from C15 with quatrefoil decoration.

Dean, All Hallows. Font.

To the left of the altar is an aumbry or cupboard where the consecrated bread used in communion was kept. To the right is a piscina.

Dean, All Hallows. Chancel altar.
Dean, All Hallows. Chancel aumbry.
Dean, All Hallows. Chancel piscina.
Dean, All Hallows. Victorian hearse.

Close by the north door is a Victorian hand-drawn hearse used to carry coffins from the village to the church.

In the north aisle, near to the chapel, is the tomb of Walter de Ireland who was the rector of Dean who died in 1311. The tomb was moved to this location at some time after the aisle was built in C15 with the canopied recess dating form C14.

Dean, All Hallows. Tomb of Walter de Ireland.

The nave roof dates from C15 with restoration carried out in the early C20 and is decorated with fine carvings of angels playing musical instruments or carrying the tools used in the crucifixion along with floral imagery and green men.

Dean, All Hallows. Nave roof.
Dean, All Hallows. Roof carvings.