Teddington Church Monuments, South West London

Teddington Church in south-west Middlesex, despite its modest size, contains just over 30 wall tablet monuments, including three rather grand ones from the 17th and 18th Century, and several of the more characteristic later designs: obelisk or pyramid monuments, an example with a statue of a mourning girl, most empathetic, tomb-chest ends and casket end designs in the white-on-black style of the early 19th Century, plain Classical tablets and a single Gothic one. In terms of sculpture, as well as the statue of a girl mentioned, the early monuments have cherub heads and drapery, and several of the later pieces have relief sculptures of pots or funereal urns, heraldic shields, scrolls and simplified floral designs.

First, a few words on the building itself. It is called St Mary with St Alban, but St Mary was what it used to be, before absorbing the name of the large 19th Century church nearby which had such a short dominion (it is now an art centre). The low, brick building, rather long for its short square tower, has been much altered over the years, and though parts of the interior are 16th Century, the exterior is 18th and 19th Century – mostly the latter – and the tower is of the mid-18th Century, replacing an earlier structure. It is not at all homogenous, with different types of Gothic windows, and round-headed ones on the tower, windows with stone surrounds and those without, but the consistent use of dark red brick and tile, and the maintenance of a certain scale and proportion make the current building look of a piece. Inside, the Church has a barrel-vaulted ceiling, held up by octagonal columns, and retains its pews, giving a pleasant wood-coloured tone to the interior, enhanced by the red carpet. The monuments are dotted on the aisle walls and end of the nave, and more numerously in the Choir, where the oldest and largest panel, to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, whose family held the living of the Church, dominates over its neighbours. We look at them in date order:

Teddington Parish Church: St Mary with St Alban.

17th and 18th Century Monuments

19th Century Monuments

20th Century Monuments

Also in the Church

Victorian stained glass, and detail.

Outside the Church

There are a few monumental panels on the exterior wall of Teddington Church or up against it. William Johnson, d.1832, an oval within a rectangle of decaying marble; John Hierons(?), d.1791, a panel with lowe shelf and curvy apron, and above, on a cartouche with scrolls, an inscription to Richard Bushnell, d.1741, ‘and several children’ (see picture below); William Setree(?), a tombstone without visible date, but a still extant shield of arms with cherub heads and foliage carved in low relief; Richard Cuff, d.1800, and wife Elizabeth, d.1783; conventional wall panel with upper shelf, small lower shelf and two supports with mouldings.

Behind and around the Church is the graveyard, wild and picturesque. Several interesting gravestones, including a wavy-topped memorial to Susan Porter, d.1813, and relatives (see picture below); Elizabeth Crick...(?) with a relief skull and crossbones, dated perhaps 1757; and several tomb chests and ledger stones with iron barred surrounds, 18th and 19th Centuries.

The beautiful churchyard and churchyard cross, and two monuments (see text).

Note should be given to the Churchyard cross, in memory to Daniel Trinde, d.1888, Priest and Vicar of the Church, and buried in Gibraltar; the monument was put up in the same year. A tall, thin shaft raised on several steps, octagonal, with at the top a birdhouse-like structure with a small crucifixion scene, three little figures recessed sensibly deep to keep the weather from eroding it. The other side has a Virgin and child with two angels (see picture at top of page, click to enlarge). Decayed, and still charming.

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures of the monuments inside; their website is at http://stmarywithstalban.org/content/history.

Teddington Church, 19th Century view from churchyard, showing lost cupola on the tower.

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Twickenham Church monuments // Bushy Park Diana fountain

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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