Monuments in St Martin’s Church, West Drayton, Hillingdon, West London

West Drayton Parish Church.

The parish church of St Martin, West Drayton, somewhat south of Uxbridge, largely dates from the 15th Century, with a sympathetic restoration of the exterior in the 1850s. It is long, low, and Medieval in aspect, made of flint with stone at the corners and old brick at the edges of the short, square tower. This bears a small cupola to one side, which juts up above the trees.

The cupola.

Inside, the Church is long and slender, tall for its width though none of the dimensions are large, giving an atmospheric, medieval feel; in fact, like the tower, much of the interior is 15th Century, notably the chancel arch and arcades to the Nave (and the wooden roof) and part of the aisles. In the chancel is a double bay piscina, which apparently predates everything else in the Church and dates from the 13th Century.

The evocative interior.

The monuments which we have come to see consist of a mix of tablets on the walls from the 1600s onwards, about 20 in all, including a few with interesting sculpture. The Lords of the Manor were the De Burgh family, and there are several monuments to them in the Church. They started with Fysh De Burgh, who was born Fysh Coppinger, a wealthy merchant of London, but took his wife’s name on purchasing the manor from Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge, in 1786. In looking at the monuments, we start with the De Burgh family, then the Arabins, then the rest in date order.

De Burgh Family:

Arabin Family:

Other monuments, in date order:

Brasses:

There are several brasses, of which we note the following:

And two modern ones:

Rickards monument, typical 1900s brass with red capitals.

Also in the Church

There are various other items in the Church of interest. Most relevant here for is sculpture is the font, with eight small panels showing scenes of the Life of Christ etc, worn and somewhat restored by the look of it. Each panel contains no more than two or three figures, filling the space in a woodcut style. Angels are carved under these towards the centre, and the whole is seated on shaft of pierced stone of paler colour, Gothic in style, with blunted and ruined gargoyle figures at the base. The font dates from the 15th Century.

We may also note a great chest, apparently 16th or 17th Century, and a curious Eagle lectern of brass, looking rather ancient.

More recent is a pair of Burne-Jones windows to Daniel Mercer and his wife Martha, late 1870s. Unusually, the figures have a pale backing, perhaps to increase the entry of light, but the figures themselves are complex in their drapery, deep in colour, fair in face.

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures of the monuments inside; their website is http://www.stmartinwestdrayton.org.uk/.

Burne-Jones stained glass window.

Also in West Drayton

Just outside the churchyard is the Gatehouse, the surviving remnant to the destroyed Manor House where the De Burghs lived. It is a red brick structure two storeys height- taller previously – and is early 16th Century, though the windows are relatively recent. The impression is of massiveness and Tudor strength, despite the relatively small size.

A short walk from West Drayton is Yiewsley, where in front of the church of St Matthew on the high street stands a small war memorial, to World War I, but with an added inscription at the base to World War II. It consists of a traditional churchyard cross, raised on steps, with a plinth, square column and summit cross, all in a fine white limestone. Carved on the front are a wreath and a downward-pointing sword. Walking southwards, a 20 minute walk leads us to another interesting church, that of St Mary the Virgin, Harmondsworth.

War Memorial at Yiewsley.

Top of page

Hillingdon Church, with Earl of Uxbridge monuments // Ruislip Church, also in Hillingdon // St Mary the Virgin, Harmondsworth // Harlington Parish Church

Burgiss of Uxbridge, stonemasons // Sculpture on the Uxbridge Line

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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