Monuments in St Giles Ickenham, West London

Ickenham Parish Church.

Ickenham, on the Metropolitan Line, consists of one shopping parade off a busy road which is Long Lane, and the station is on the other side of that. The Church of St Giles is at the corner. It has an interesting exterior, long, low, all tiled roof above painted stonework, and instead of a square tower, has a short wood-clad bell tower, with a steeple bearing the weathervane. This bell tower is important in that without it, there would be some doubt to the viewer that this was a church at all. The building dates partly from the late 14th Century, with the bell tower apparently 15th Century, and the porch and the north aisle added in the late 16th Century. The mortuary chapel is thought to be mid-17th Century, and there was the normal restoration in the 19th Century. Inside, the Church feels in two parts, the nave and chancel at one side, the bulky but shorter north aisle on the other, each with its own barrel-shaped timbered roof, and the mortuary chapel at one end of the north aisle. The Church all in all is no more than about 40ft long and perhaps ¾ that distance wide, giving a feel of medieval enclosure.

There are just over a score of wall panels, plus two pieces of freestanding sculpture, one of which is a bust of Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, c.1650, taken from a screen at Swakeleys. Rather battered, but still with a stern countenance, he appears to be dressed in contemporary clothing with a large collar, and some classical robe knotted over the shoulder and draped across his chest. Behind this is another small slate panel, to whom I could not see.

The bust stands in the 17th Century mortuary chapel, now the vestry, which contains several vertical niches, apparently for coffins from the great house of Swakeleys. Inscription plates remain in some:

  • Sir Edward Harrington (father of Sir James Harrington), and three of James’s daughters – Elizabeth (x 2 – d.1647, 1654) and Katherine, d.1653.

  • Elizabeth Harington, d.1647, an infant, daughter to Sir James Harington of Swakeley, Knight and Baronet. A simple blocky panel with the lettering in capitals, with some of the letter ‘N’s inscribed the wrong way round.

  • Sir Edward Harington, d.1652, Knight and Baronet, eldest son of Sir James Harington, with a note of his place in the family. He married Margery Doiley and had 14 children. An unadorned block.

    Monuments:

    On to the monuments proper in the rest of the Church, which includes the second freestanding sculptural work as the oldest piece, a couple of pieces with figures in high relief, and among the plainer panels, examples of the signed work of several sculptors and masons, including two local stonemasons, E. Burgiss and Fassnidge & Son, both of Uxbridge.

    Brasses:

    Also in the Church:

    Outside the Church:

    18th Century altar tomb.

    Around the Church are a few monuments, and a small graveyard lies behind the Church as we view it from the street. Mostly flat panels, and a very few large tomb chests dating from the 18th or 19th Centuries. Rather than a Church Cross, there is a flagstaff, put up for King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935, with an octagonal base of plinth plus two steps in Portland stone; the plinth is decorated with relief carvings of trees.

    Just across the road is the Village Pump, under a graceful little roofed structure built for ornament more than need. Inside, it is inscribed just below the roof that the well was sunk and the pump erected in 1866, paid for in the will of Charlotte Gell, d.1863.

    Victorian pump at Ickenham.

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    Uxbridge Church // Hillingdon Church // Ruislip Church // Denham Church, close by in Buckinghamshire // Sculpture on the Uxbridge Line

    Burgiss of Uxbridge, stonemasons // Other sculptors

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

    Angel statues // Cherub sculpture

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