Monuments in Ealing Parish Church, St Mary

The Parish Church of St Mary Ealing is not in the centre of modern Ealing – the tall church there is Christ the Saviour – but on the road leading from there to South Ealing. Thus Ealing High Street goes past Walpole Park, with Rothschild’s one-time residence Pittshanger Manor, becomes Ealing Green, and then South Ealing Road; a wiggle in the otherwise due south course of the road is where St Mary stands. The view walking towards it is impressive, for the massive square tower with a four-sided roof, and one pinnacle; closer up, we see the relatively low body of the Church, all brick and Romanesque arches. From the point of view of the monument-hunter, it does not look too promising, as it is clearly Victorian – 1865-73 is the date – but happily a host of monuments from the church it replaced were kept, and replaced within this remodelled building.

The assured style of the Church, exterior and interior – described by Archbishop Tait as a ‘Constantinopolitan Basilica’ – are all the work of S. S. Teulon, a forceful Victorian architect, and what he did is described as a ‘remodelling’ of the previous church, dating from 1740, itself a replacement of a structure which had collapsed several years before which dated from mediaeval times. A particularly nice touch is the cast ironwork pillars inside, increasing the feel of lightness and space. Three cheers to the Church authorities for the sensitive restoration and colouring.

Interior of St Mary, Ealing, work of S. S. Teulon.

We have, then, a combination of a Victorian church, polychromatic and rather bright inside, with a collection of almost 60 wall-monuments (mural monuments). This collection includes one excellent brass, and a series of mostly fairly modest tablets, but with three dating from the 17th Century, 10 or 11 from the 18th Century, and most of the rest still from the old church, with about 15 being installed since then, including a little batch from the interesting period around 1900. Though modest, the series includes plain panels, various Classical tablets with pediments, pilasters and so on, a cartouche, two obelisks, and modern brasses, thus a fair selection of the more familiar types of small monument. The sculptural adornment is minor, yet we have several pots, foliage carved in relief, hanging draperies, carved coats of arms, the odd winged cherubic head, two small relief figures of girls, and two low relief portraits – a good crop overall. Several of the works are signed, including a couple of big names, and several minor monumental masons. We start on the ground floor, and have a separate list for the gallery – for the ancient brass, see bottom of page:

Ground floor Monuments: up to 1800:

19th Century Monuments from the Old Church

Monuments by Joseph Edwards, sculptor: Dora McMahon, and Evan Baillie.

Monuments from the New Church: 1880s onwards:

Memorial to John Horne Tooke, d.1812, by the sculptor L. F. Roslyn (erected 1919).

Modern brass tablets:

Ornate modern brass to William Jackson, Bishop of Antigua, d.1896.

Monuments in the Gallery

Westmacott the Elder's monument to Henry Beaufoy, d.1795.

Gallery Monuments after 1800:

Also in the Church:

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures of the monuments inside; their website is http://stmarysealing.org.uk/.

Top of page

Nearby Acton Parish Church (St Mary) and Hammersmith Parish Church (St Paul) // or north to Perivale 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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