Although this Anglo-Catholic movement was thrown into turmoil by the conversion of one of its leaders, John Henry Newman, to Roman Catholicism in 1845, it remained strong and indeed would grow in influence in the second half of the century. Just five years after the 1845 crisis, All Saints was designed as a model church for the Ecclesiological Society (as the Cambridge Camden Society renamed itself).
While the spire was the highest in London when it was built, the exterior is otherwise somewhat constrained by its location. Nonetheless, exuberant use of polychromatic brickwork makes it visually arresting - a deliberate choice, not an economic one, since the brick was apparently more expensive than stone. However, it is the interior which is really extraordinary with its elaborate decoration. The geometric designs were advocated by Ruskin in The Seven Lamps of Architecture.
Perhaps most striking are the tiles along the north wall of the church, which make up five panels on Biblical themes. They were added in 1873, fourteen years after the church was completed, but were also by Butterfield. Originally the walls had geometric patterns but the panels were added as a memorial to the church's first vicar, William Upton Richards.
Pevsner was not a fan: he found the interior "dazzling, though in an eminently High Victorian ostentatiousness or obtrusiveness. It is by no means tasteful ... The motifs are without exception big and graceless." I prefer Betjeman's more enthusiastic assessment: "For the smallness and confined nature of the site, the effect of space, richness, mystery and size is amazing."