Monuments in Harlington Church, St Peter & St Paul, South Hillingdon, Middlesex

The medieval Parish Church of Harlington, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul lies somewhat to the south of West Drayton Church, still in South Middlesex, a not particularly pleasant walk along the main road from Harmondsworth. From the point of view of these pages, centred on sculpture and monuments, the Church is of interest for three important figural ones: Sir John Benett, and the two figures of the Count and Countess De Salis. In addition, there is a portrait bust and relief portrait, both again from the De Salis family, and also several minor tablets, including one by the local firm of Burgiss of Uxbridge, and medieval brasses. Aside from monuments, there is the ancient fabric of the Church itself: let us start briefly with that.

Harlington Church, St Peter and St Paul.

Harlington Parish Church dates in its oldest portions from the 12th Century, including parts of the nave and most prominently, the South Door (see picture at top of page), with characteristic round arch, four concentric orders, one with Norman chevrons, and one with strange little carved heads, lions apparently, and certainly feline (see this page if you want more examples of lion heads). Much of the rest of the fabric is 14th and 15th Century, including the battlemented tower, three storeys high and with a small turret.

Inside, the open roof, with its many rafters and great beams spanning the nave, is apparently 14th Century too, and together with the wooden pews, though these are relatively modern, gives an evocative and medieval ambience to the interior.

Principal Monuments

William Fane de Salis, d.1896.

Other monuments:

There are several other monuments in the form of simple wall plaques, which we note in date order:

Ancient brasses:

Modern brasses:

Also in the Church:

Churchyard

Outside, the Churchyard stretches off in a long, relatively thin piece of greenery enclosed by a brick wall, fence, and hedge, with thick yew trees near to the Church so that the further areas feel remote. The monuments have been kept mostly free of ivy, but allowed to sink into the soft ground, slumping and cracking and collapsing.

Near the Church is the World War I memorial, as a granite Churchyard cross in Celtic form, with characteristic looping geometric designs on the crucifix, a bare shaft, and the inscribed names of the fallen on the heavy base, with a step below.

Carved ship in relief on the Hohlsson tombstone.

We see a couple of tomb-chests, from the beginning of the 19th Century and later, and rather more graves of the form of an enclosed plot long enough for the coffin, with stone surround, raised corners, and at the top, a headstone or crucifix raised on steps. One or two ledger stones too, with cracked, broken and sunken tops. There is a small amount of sculptural decoration here and there, mostly from the early 20th Century: a ship in relief on the tombstone of Captain Olof Hjalmar Hohlsson, born at Ellishult, Sweden, and died in Harlington in 1920, and his wife Emelie Albertina, also from Sweden; the odd headstone as a carved book; a couple of little angels, and a relief of a pensive young woman, standing finger to lip, in memory of her devoted husband Percy A. Salter, d.1934; a few bits of broken pots from collapsed tombs placed in a corner. And a very late Arts and Crafts tomb, in terra cotta, to Herbert Wilson, d.1929, Rector or Harlington, with a large collapsed crucifix and two kneeling infant angels.

Mid-19th Century Gothic chest tomb.

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures of the monuments inside; their website is http://www.stpeterandstpaul-harlington.org.uk/church-history/.

Top of page

West Drayton Church, Hillingdon // Harmondsworth Church // Hayes Church // Uxbridge Church // Hillingdon Parish Church

Burgiss of Uxbridge, stonemasons // 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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