Cranford Church Monuments, Hillingdon, Middlesex

A small brick and stone church in the most remote region of south Middlesex, within the precincts of a large heathy park, it is notable for three grand monuments, and several lesser ones, of the 17th and 18th Century.

Although there is believed to have been a church on the site since Saxon times, and in Norman times it belonged to the Knights Templar, the current building is 15th and 18th Century. Thus the squat tower and chancel are of the 15th Century, and the brick-built nave is of 1716, after fire destroyed an earlier one likely of similar date to the tower. Inside, the Church is dark and atmospheric, with an open roof with tie-beams, a little gallery by the tower with a doorway behind through which the bell-ropes can be seen, and the narrow space dominated by the monuments; the 20th Century furnishings are rather of the Catholic tendency.

Cranford Church, St Dunston, outside and inside views.

Monuments

There are three grand monuments with figure sculpture, being to Sir Roger Aston, d.1612, Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, d.1635, and William Smythe, d.1720, and really not enough room in the narrow Church for much else monumental: a few large panels, together with a similar number of minor works. We take them, as usual, in date order:

Also in the Church:

The font.

Outside:

In the small Churchyard are a few interesting pieces, most notably the great Coat of Arms of the Berkeleys against the wall of the Church, with an accompanying ledger stone on the ground in front of it. The supporters of the coat of arms are well carved but somewhat time-ravaged rampant lions, one chained, like the unicorn on the Royal coat of arms.

Among several gravestones with minor carving we may note an 18th Century example of a skull and crossbones to John Laverick, a very naïve one to Richard Sutton, d.1735, and a winged cherub head with crossed torch and trumpet to John Savidge, d.1755.

And a couple of less usual later monuments, including a slab as if a series of natural steps to Anna de Vignoles, d.1893, and one as a rough oval stone bearing a large crucifix, to Gustave Low, d.1903.

Cranford Church has good information on its monuments; their website is http://www.saintdunstan.org.uk/section/10.

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Harlington Church // Harmondsworth Church // West Drayton Church, Hillingdon // Hayes Church

Monuments in some London Churches // Churches in the City of London // Introduction to church monuments

Angel statues // Cherub sculpture

London sculpture // Sculptors

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