Mapping All Hallows

Francis Stainforth's Nineteenth-Century London

Mapping All Hallows traces changes to the small London parish church of All Hallows Staining across the nineteenth century.  Located just two blocks from the Tower of London, curate Francis John Stainforth's parish church had long served as a backdrop for key moments in history.  According to tradition, the church housed the Scottish military leader William Wallace for a brief period prior to his execution in 1305.  It also sheltered a young Elizabeth - not yet queen - when she stopped to give thanks in 1554 following her imprisonment in the Tower under her half-sister Mary Tudor.[1]

By the mid-nineteenth century, All Hallows Staining was under threat due to development and due to the consolidation of London parishes amid the flight of many Londoners from an increasingly industrialized city to the leafy suburbs.  Its tower - built in roughly 1320 - and several graves in its small adjacent cemetery are all that remain.[2]

Beginning in 1852, All Hallows Staining became the likely home to Francis John Stainforth's groundbreaking library, a modern, even proto-feminist site of recovery and preservation of fifteenth- through nineteenth- century women writers.  His extensive manuscript catalogue of these writers, held by Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries, is available digitally through the CU Digital Library and is transcribed and searchable through the Stainforth Library of Women Writers directed by Kirstyn Leuner, with general editor Deborah Hollis.


Curated by Susan Guinn-Chipman, with special thanks to Kirstyn Leuner, Deborah Hollis, Michael Harris, and the Stainforth team and to Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara of the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship. A very special thanks also to the Center for Humanities and the Arts, CU Boulder, for their support. Image: Ordnance Survey, detail, London, 1896, Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.