Saint Andrew’s Church in Barrow Hill is one of the most significant buildings in the UK. Built in in 1895 the church is the first collaboration between two of the most brilliant architect planners of the 20th century. Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker designed the church at the very moment when Unwin’s life had been transformed by William Morris and Edward Carpenter.  

Unwin had been a draftsman at the Staveley Iron and Coal Company designing industrial building and uniform terraces of Arkwight town and Poolsbrook. Within five years and working with Ebenezer Howard, Unwin and Parker designed Letchworth Garden City, the first experiment in delivering Howard’s a self-financing Garden City utopia. Unwin went on to set design standards for council housing which transformed millions of peoples living conditions. And all of this started in Barrow Hill.

The church was built on very tight budgets embodying that genius for making the very best of limited cash that was reflected in the designs of cottages in Letchworth. The church is unlisted and about to close but it has to be saved.  It is part of the taproot of the Garden City movement and a vital part of working-class history. It is also a beacon of hope in era when the government has scrapped minimum housing standards creating the slums of the future.   

Within the church there is 5 stained glass windows by Shrigley and Hunt, a stained window by William Morris, a Holt Pipe Organ built in 1856, for the school, and Parker and Unwin furnishings such as clergy stalls, pews, a lectern and a personal gift to the church of a reredos.

Saint Andrew’s Church, a local heritage asset, is not a listed building, despite several attempts. However, it is in a conservation area which gives a level of protection.

The TCPA have a responsibility to bring attention to this beautiful, extremely important building and raise funds to put towards campaigning for the protection of Saint Andrew's Church.

For further information please contact: Hugh Ellis, [email protected]