About this church
The church of St Gilbert & St Hugh was designed by William Bucknall and Sir John Ninian Comper and built in 1902/03.
The design of the church is quite extraordinary and possibly unique and was undoubtedly influenced by the 'Arts & Crafts' movement which was most popular at the time. Born in 1864, Comper is known as one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects, designing both churches and stained glass windows. Comper met Bucknall in 1888 and set up a partnership with him in Westminster. Comper married Bucknall's sister and together they had six extraordinarily successful children including Nick Comper, one of Britain's most brilliant and influential aeronautical engineers of the early 1930s. He was best known for the design and manufacture of the 'Comper Swift' light aircraft. Sir John Ninian Comper's father, a priest, died suddenly whilst giving strawberries to poor children in Cuthie Park, Aberdeen and so from 1903 the strawberry became Comper's signature.
The church of St Gilbert & St Hugh which was completed in 1903 includes his strawberry signature. Sir John was knighted in 1950 and following his death in December 1960 his ashes were buried beneath the windows he designed in Westminster Abbey. C
By 1996 the Parochial Church Council realised that drastic steps needed to be taken to restore the church to its former glory. Quotations were sought and several grants were found and so in 2001 the restoration work started. Unfortunately this almost depleted the church funds and so 10 years later it was agreed to start a 'Friends of SS Gilbert & Hugh' specifically to cover the ongoing renovations and maintenance of the church and church hall so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. This little timber framed church has recently become famous as 'The Four Golden Angels' were featured on the BBC1 programme 'The Repair Shop'.