Monuments in Mortlake Church, East Sheen

Mortlake Church.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake, in East Sheen, South West London, was built in 1543, and the Tudor tower survives from that time. It replaced a previous church in a different location, and a 15th Century font survives from that building in the present one. The church grew steadily since its erection, with the south aisle being added in 1725 the north aisle lengthened in 1816, with extension to the south aisle and the nave in an early Victorian restoration by the architect Samuel Beachcroft in 1840, and William Blomfield making further changes in 1885 and 1906.

The monuments date from the late 17th Century onwards, with three from the 17th Century, then fairly evenly split between the 18th Century, early 19th Century, and Victorian times, with a couple more from the 20th Century.

Monument to Ursula Sidmouth, d.1814, and detail.

We start with four monuments from the family of Viscount Sidmouth:


The rest of the monuments, in date order:

17th Century:

William Hawkins, d.1677.

18th Century:

Nicholas Goschall and wife, mid-18th Century.

Tablet by local stonemasons Woodiss of Sheen.

Early 19th Century:

Collection of smaller wall monuments in the Church.

Victorian monuments:

20th Century:

One of the stained glass windows.

Also in the Church:

Medieval west entrance, and Edward and Samuel Athawes obelisk, late 18th Century.

The West entrance of the Church was removed in Victorian times and placed in the churchyard, which was sympathetically restored in 1980s. Among various tomb chests and the normal variety of tablets, may be seen those shown here, including one with a skull and crossbones, and another, less usual in design, with an elegant Greek pot with two cherubic heads in low relief. There is also an Obelisk to Edward Athawes, d.1767 and son Samuel Athawes, Virginia merchants.

View of Mortlake Church and churchyard in the 1850s.

With thanks to the Church authorities for permission to use photos from inside the Church; their website is at

A couple of minutes walk from the Church, in North Worple Way, is the Roman Catholic church of St Mary Magdalene, which in its small churchyard has the tomb of Sir Richard Francis Burton, d.1890. The famous explorer of the East and translator of the Arabian Nights appropriately has a mausoleum in the shape of a Bedouin Arab tent, designed by his wife, Lady Isabel Burton (d.1896). An inscription on the front commemorates both of them.

Mausoleum to Sir Richard Francis Burton, St Mary Magdalene RC.

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Nearby, Twickenham Church // Kew Church // Richmond 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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