Monuments in St Mary the Virgin Church, Merton, South London

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Merton is now part of South London, but was once part of Surrey. It stands down a quiet side road a few minutes walk from one stop on the Croydon tramlink, and is a low building of flint with stone dressings, all broad tile roofs, with a stubby spire and no tower to speak of, a sort of English Vernacular church, and most picturesque to see from the churchyard. There is one Norman arch, and the rest is mostly of Early English and Victorian dates. As with West London churches, so here in South London there is a contrast between the Victorian and later suburbs all around, with the squat medieval Church, preserving something of many centuries previous.

St Mary the Virgin, Merton.

Inside is low, dark, atmospheric, with ancient exposed timber roof, particularly attractive above the chancel, and dark pews, the aisles separated from the nave by low pillars and tall pointed arches, and a brighter chancel with exposed masonry. The monuments are along the aisle walls, with a row of hatchments above (including Nelson’s), and in the Chancel. There are about 15 in all, including one important early one, one plainer, and the rest split roughly half and half between the 18th and 19th Centuries and managing to give an example or two of each of several of the characteristic types of monument.

Interior view towards the altar.



We may note three modern brasses, each showing a different style:

Also in the Church