(Last Updated on : 16-10-2012)
All Saints Cathedral, also known as Patthar Girja (Church of Stones) is a noted Anglican Cathedral located in Allahabad
. It is an example of 13th-century Gothic style buildings in Asia built by the British during their rule in India. In the year 1871, British architect Sir William Emerson, architect of Victoria Memorial
, designed this monument. It was consecrated in 1887 but could only be completed in four years. The church celebrates its anniversary on All Saints' Day (November 1) and is part the Church of North India. The cathedral is build at the centre of a large open space at the crossing of two of the principal roads of Allahabad, MG Marg and SN Marg.
History of All Saints Cathedral
The land for the cathedral was granted by Sir William Muir, the lieutenant governor of the North Western Provinces, thereafter Elizabeth Huntly Wemyss, and his wife, laid the foundation stone on April 10, 1871. British architect Sir William Emerson was employed to designed the building; he had already designed the Crawford Market, Mumbai
, and followed this with the Muir Central College, Allahabad (1872-78), which is now part of the Allahabad University
The cathedral was commenced some 15 years ago and was at first intended for the cathedral of the North-Western Provinces and to have an open Verandah and ambulatory all round. It was, however, afterwards decided that the cathedral of the North-Western Provinces should be at Lahore instead, though it is now thought probable that this will eventually form the cathedral church of a new dioceses. Since first begin, Allahabad, by reason of extension of the railway system has increased so enormously that it is found necessary to provide for the addition to the transept and choir of a nave accommodating a much larger congregation that was dreamed of at first. The great heat necessitates, the massive construction, and the two carriage porches under the towers, as well as windows low down that can be filled during the hot weather with wet khus-khus mats. The roof is supported on arches on accounts of white ants, and the general simplicity of detail is necessitated by the class of workmen obtainable in this part of India. The work is carried out in a cream-coloured stone with fine red sandstone dressings, and the roof is covered with red native tiles.
Architecture of All Saints Cathedral
Its nave is about 40 feet wide and 130 feet long, total length of the church is about 240 feet and internal width is about 56 feet. It is designed to accommodate 300 to 400 persons. It is remarkable example architecture of colonial India. Glass and marble work of Cathedral is retained in originality even after more than 125 years, The Cathedral also houses many plaques which depict the death of different British nationals for a variety of reasons during their rule in India. The church is surrounded by a lush green garden.
The pulpit is an exceedingly fine piece of workmanship in alabaster by Mr. Nicholls of Lambeth from Mr. Emerson's designs. Narrow aisles were made in the building thus giving a total internal width of about 56 feet. There are two transepts on the North and South respectively, a Chancel with an Ambulatory, a central tower at the intersection of the Nave and Transepts and a West Porch. The lantern tower bears the name of 'Victoria Tower', and is a memorial to the late Queen Victoria