Wine merchant’s Camberley building too small for its new use?

IMG_1633 St Paul's


The history of St Paul’s, Church Hill, Camberley, seems, at first glance, to be surprisingly complicated.  In the 1880s, a wealthy wine merchant, Thomas Boyes, owned a large area of land on which he built the house (Hermon House, now Frimley Hall Hotel) , and then a non-conformist chapel nearby, for the use of his family and staff.  (This is the knapped flint building in the left hand photograph.   It is now used as parish rooms).  Thomas Boyes, seems to have belonged to the ‘Christian Brethren’ which I believe is this group: (

However, not many years later the family left Camberley and the estate (and the church) were sold to George Fowler.  He was a staunch, conservative Anglican and so, when he gave the Rector of Frimley a lease on the unused chapel in 1895, it came with strict covenants about the kind of services that could be held.

From the first, however, the church was extremely popular and it quickly outgrew the chapel.  By 1899 further talks were had with George Fowler to extend the lease and include some more land for new, bigger premises.

A foundation stone was laid by Mrs Fowler in 1902, an architect engaged (William Caroe, a Scandinavian) and funds raised.  Five years later the church was completed and dedicated in May 1907.

That is not, of course, the end of the story, but that will have to wait for another day……..

Here are links to other photos I have shown in Camberley Observed.

Designed to keep the trolls away, as well?.

St Paul’s Camberley – as promised!.


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