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
- Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Baronet, d.1674, with a long Latin inscription, erected by his first son Johannes
[John]. A grand wall monument (see picture of Church interior above for idea of scale), with the inscribed panel being a tall oval, with a carved border of leaves,
and a winged cherub head at top and bottom. It is set in a rectangular panel, with two cartouches of arms, painted, in the top corners,
within a noble Baroque frame. To left and right are dark marble pillars, with Corinthian capitals in white marble,
supporting an entablature with a curved, broken pediment on top. Set within this is a mini-pediment,
itself partially eclipsed by a further cartouche of arms, painted, with a knight’s helm on top with frilly adornments,
and a seated dog at the very summit. The pillars are supported on a shelf under which are two scrolled supports, and a central panel
to the Honourable Orland Henry Bridgeman, ‘third son of Orlando, Earl of Bradford, and descendant in the sixth generation of
the above-named Sir Orlando’, d.1827; below that is a base with minor carving which would have been lowered from the original monument
to fit the new inscription. The full translation of the inscription is given on a modern notice board,
noting that he was son of John Bridgeman, Bishop of Chester, and his various appointments and marriage to Judith,
co-heiress of her father John Kynaston of Morton, and then Dorothy, co-heiress of John Sanders.
Sir Orlando Bridgeman Bt monument, 1674.
- Thomas Fitch, d.1701 erected by his sister Judith Hawkes, also their mother
Martha Fitch, d.1691, and Martha Webb, d.1703, the daughter of Judith Hawkes,
who is herself commemorated, d.1707. An additional note of the death of Katherine Webb in 1725 is below.
A cartouche monument, thus a shield-shaped panel surrounded by hanging drapery, depending from a tent-like structure at the top,
tied up at the sides, and hanging freely, then caught on the heads of two bat-winged skulls or death’s heads,
before hanging further and across, thus forming the base for the monument. There is an inner border of fine scrolling.
At the top, a shield of arms with leafy knight’s helm and a summit lion with a broken sword in his mouth, gilt and painted;
at the base, a winged cherub’s head. Done by a sculptor of merit and sense of proportion.
Thomas Fitch, d.1701, Margaret Woffington, d.1760, and details.
- Margaret Woffington, d.1760. A cartuche monument, very beautifully designed.
The roughly violin-shaped inscribed panel forms the centrepiece of a wide-bordered construction, with high relief scrolling,
small flowers, carved most delicately, and above, a heart shaped space perhaps once containing a painted emblem, and on top of all,
a small free-standing urn. To the sides of the panel descend drapery, caught on the carved heads of two cherubs, hanging freely below;
central below is a winged death’s head, lacking its lower jaw and with what look to be bone attachments to the top of the skull:
a grim little memento mori. Underneath, an additional small panel has been attached, with carvings of crossed ears of corn behind,
commemorating Master Horace Cholmodeley, an infant, nephew of Margaret Woffington.
- Henry Flitcroft, d.1769, with a Latin inscription, as the side of a tomb chest end with an obelisk behind
- symbol of Egypt and life after death. Unusually, the obelisk is pale; it has upon it a carving of a narrow-based pot, and to the sides
of the monumental inscription below are curvy, corrugated side pieces. There is a small shelf and little supports at the base.
Unusual of its type.
- John Davenport, d.1796, another and more conventional obelisk monument. The bottom half of the monument
consists of the inscribed panel in white marble, with fluted side pilasters, upper shelf, and beneath, a shield of arms carved
in low reliefs upon an outlined cartouche, with two crossed, ferny branches behind, and to the sides, corbels decorated with
broad leaves, rather nicely done. The upper half of the monument consists of the obelisk, shape cut in black marble,
with upon it a fine relief carving of a decorated pot or urn upon a broad base, with drapery looped around it, little leaf designs,
and ribbons. Signed by Bingley of London, who rather favoured obelisk monuments. At Twickenham is his monument to Jane Blicke,
with a similar looking pot to the one here (see picture on Twickenham Church page).
John Davenport, d.1796, an obelisk monument, by Bingley of London.
- William Sandby, d.1799, Banker of the Strand, London, a tall panel with upper entablature,
shelf and curvy rimless pediment, and narrow lower shelf underneath which is a wavy apron with two carved, stylised flowers
at the sides.
19th Century Monuments
- Thomas Davis, d.1800, and wife Ann, d.1804, plain white panel with nipped corners
on a rectangular black backing.
- Revd. Philip Aeneas Mackenzie, d.1803, ‘Thirteen Years Officiating Minister of this Parish:
Whose useful Labours God was pleased to terminate The 2nd July 1803’, with a reference to the monument itself:
‘STRANGER: Look not to this Marble // For a Record of his Virtues: // They are registered // In the Hearts of his Parishioners
// And in the Book // Of God’s Remembrance.’ Plain panel of streaky white marble.
1810s tomb chest end designs: T.W.Smith and John Walter.
- Thomas Woodrouffe Smith, d.1811, Lord of the Manor of Teddington,
and daughter Maria Woodrouffe Head, his heiress, d.1854, erected by her husband George Head Head.
As a tomb chest end, supported on small feet carved with leaves and descending to delicate tips,
an upper shelf with repeating patterns carved along it, and on top, a high relief carving of an urn or pot asymmetrically draped
to form a triangular mass. On a shaped black backing. Signed indistinctly by J Bedford, 256 Oxford Street.
Various simple monuments by him can be found in London churches, and in north-east London, at Walthamstow,
may be found a figural work by him in the monument to Jane Bonnell.
- John Walter, d.1812, as a tomb chest end, the panel cut with little feet
and with an upper shelf with mouldings and repeated decoration. On a shaped black backing panel.
- Eliza (Mellish) Donovan, d.1812, who married twice in the last five years of her life and died aged just 26.
Plain white marble panel with upper and lower shelf.
Sir Richard Westmacott's monument to W.T. Stretton, d.1814.
- William Thomas Stretton, d.1814, an excellent figural monument. The scene is a tall monument
in front of which kneels or crouches a veiled girl, covered head to foot in her enveloping gown; we see only her hands, a foot,
and a bit of hair and cheek (pictures above and at top of page, right). The lower part of one arm rests on her knee, the other elbow rest on this with the out-turned palm
and wrist shielding her face from the light and the viewer, a well-caught pose of heartfelt grief. The carving of the drapery is assured,
in both the naturalism of the narrow sleeves over the arms, and broader folds from knee downwards and up to the belt,
emphasising the swirling oval shape of the composed figure. The monument behind her, rising to higher than the mourner’s
height were she standing, is peaked at the top, and bears the legend ‘Thy will be done’ under a sunburst; stretched across
the front of the monument below this is a naturalistically carved withering evergreen branch. The whole is on a black backing,
and under the shelf which forms the base and the field for the inscription are two moulded supports. This excellent monument
is by the prolific and famous sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott RA.
- Thomas Cuff, d.1815, and wife Harriett Cuff, d.1834. With a long inscription in small
capitals, regarding his devotional, charitable and familial duties. At the base is added an inscription to their second son
Thomas Cuff, d.1821, and second daughter Harriett Cuff, d.1825. An example of the
more ornate monuments in the black and white tomb chest end style. The inscribed panel has side pilasters, upper shelf, and upon it,
a carved pair of extremely frondy branches, crossed over a circle which on close inspection is seen to be a snake biting its tail,
symbol of eternity and rebirth. At the base, a thicker shelf, and two feet of the ‘upturned jelly mould’ form. The backing panel,
shaped at the top to accommodate the branches, is of a dark marble with white streaks, an attractive choice when combined with the
ferny branches. By Henry Westmacott, brother of Sir Richard Westmacott RA, who made the Stretton monument above,
and a less well known maker of monuments dotted around southern England.
Thomas Cuff, d.1815, by Henry Westmacott, and Regnart's monument to Lucy Poole, d.1818.
- Lucy Poole, d.1818, as a casket-shaped panel, but with a segment of a circle below rather than feet.
The lid of the casket is decorated with low relief scrolling and a central shell, most elegantly, and the whole
is on a pentagonal black backing and supported on two plain brackets. By Charles Regnart of Hampstead Road, London.
He was a London-based statuary, quite prolific, whose monuments are distributed widely across the country;
he had a penchant for panels styled as casket ends, as here, and works made in several parts, introducing some complexity of design.
Not so far from Teddington, at Kingston, is the monument by him to Henry Davidson, with a figure of a Classical girl
mourning over a funeral urn.
- Harriett Douglas, d.1818, with a Latin inscription by her husband. A plain white panel with curved top
- Sarah Haslam, d.1822. Unusual in style and to have colour at this date, the white marble panel is
shaped like a cloud, cut with several bulges, four of which bear light scrolling, on a similarly shaped backing of grey and white
streaky marble, and supported on two small moulded brackets (see picture at top of page, second left - click to enlarge). Charming. It is signed by Mullane, of New Road, London.
It is hard to think of another example I have seen of a cloud-shaped monument, though there are enough monuments with some small cloud
depicted upon them. Mullane has several mural monuments dotted around London, including a fairly elaborate one to Frances Belicher
in St Martin Ludgate, in the City.
- Sophia (Vincent) Jervis, d.1828, and twin daughters Charlotte and
Julia, infants who died and whose birth their mother did not long survive. Panel with upper and lower shelf,
and above, a coat of arms with the supports being an eagle and a Pegasus, and the motto ‘Thus’. By John Mason of Twickenham.
It is always interesting to see the work of local masons in a church: there are two or three more to be found in Twickenham Parish Church itself.
Eagle and Pegasus by John Mason, and deceased Dove by Humphrey Hopper.
- Juliana Elisabeth (Dawkins) Coulson, d.1831. Panel with upper and lower shelf, above which lies a carving
of a dead dove lying on its back, all on a black backing panel. The use of a dead bird in this way is more familiar from
cemetery monuments than within churches, and is here carried off with genuine pathos.
By Humphrey Hopper, a significant maker of monuments and decorative sculpture - see this page.
- Susan (Woodward) Carr, d.1834, the first in the Church of a series of panels of identical shape,
cut as a tomb chest end with little feet and a narrow moulded shelf on top.
- Mary Anne Collard, d.1844, and husband Valentine Collard, d.1846,
‘Rear Admiral of the Blue’. As a simple tomb chest end with little feet and an upper, shaped shelf, on a plain black backing.
- Charles Henry Skrine, d.1844, second son of Revd John Skrine, noted below, panel cut at tomb chest end
with little feet, upper shelf and small crucifix.
- Lieut. William Levitt Hedding, d.1846, from the 35th Regiment of Foot, and who left a legacy to the poor
of Teddington. Plain panel cut with small feet and a narrow moulded upper shelf.
- Revd. John Harcourt Skrine, d.1847, and wife Eleanor Skrine, d.1866.
Cut as a tomb chest end with small feet and an upper shelf, and a crucifix above the inscription, identical to that of his son
Charles Skrine, noted above.
- Elizabeth Weskett, d.1849, another one in the same design as the Skrine monuments above.
- Walter Askell Venour, d.1850, of the Hon. East India Company’s Bengal Medical Service, and added later,
his wife Anne, d.1872. Panel with blocky pediment above, rimless, and blocky base below, with two supporting feet.
The overhang of the pediment is ornamented with repeating sphere and ring devices, but there is no other carving. On a black backing.
By King of Chenies Street, London, s prolific statuary of the time.
- Andrew Morton Carr, d.1852, and added later, wife Emily Caroline Fortescue, d.1893,
again in the Skrine monument design.
- Thomas Starling Benson, d.1858, High Sheriff of Surrey, resident in the Manor House of the Parish,
wife Elizabeth (Meux), d.1859, and his son by his second wife Hannah,
Florance John Benson, d.1853. Tall panel with blocky pediment-shaped top and equally blocky base on two small legs,
on a black backing with two block supports.
Tall panels, mid-19th Century: W.A. Venour, Classical, and C. Strachan, Tudor Gothic.
- Caroline (Dalrymple) Strachan, d.1862. A Victorian monument in the Tudor Gothic manner,
as a blind window in a rectangular frame with attached Tudor pillars to the sides, crocketing above with leaflets and trefoils,
and a deep base with low relief quatrefoils across it. Two corbels support the pillars, carved with leaves,
and the whole is on the usual black backing, with two small supports. By W. Lane, 16 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Westminster.
A number of stonemasons and potters had their premises along this road.
- James Borland, d.1863, Inspector General of Army Hospitals, and wife Susannah Francis, d.1866
also, and their unnamed youngest son, with Biblical quotations. At the base is added an inscription to the
Revd. Robert Spencer Borland, d.1916, Priest in Charge of the District Church of St Mark, South Teddington
in the parish. Panel with upper moulded shelf, small crucifix, thick base and small feet, on a rectangular black backing panel.
20th Century Monuments
- Charles William Southwell, d.1947, as a small, hexagonally-sided stone vessel,
presumably for the collection, a nice idea of practical utility to the Church.
- Ian David Wilkins, d.1948, a scout, drowned in the River Torridge in North Devon.
A plain red-brown metal panel with the inscribed emblem of the boy scouts, affixed to a wooden board.
- Thomas Traherne, a plain modern panel in memory of the ‘poet and mystic’ who died in 1674.
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
Teddington Church, 19th Century view from churchyard, showing lost cupola on the tower.
Top of page
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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