Monuments in St Mary, Willesden Parish Church

An ancient church with parts dating back to the 13th Century, much changed and altered since then, but seemingly always in a sympathetic vein, if not style, so the result is rather atmospheric, this being heightened inside by the tall, curved ceiling to the Nave with beams and panelling. Thick arches on various different piers split off Nave from lower aisles.

Willesden Parish Church of St Mary.

From the outside, we see a rubble-and-flint building, the nave with its tiled, pitched roof dominating over the smaller aisles – the effect is much less pronounced within – and short, square tower with battlements (the engraving above shows the aspect before the battlements were emplaced). The Church stands in its own churchyard with many simple upright slabs and a few tomb chests, but despite this open position, the view from across the road is rather spoilt by the many signposts, a shame which the Council should rectify. The tower dates from about 1400. After various medieval and later alterations, and Victorian restorations and additions in the 1850s, 1870s, and 1890s, what we see from the exterior apart from the tower is mostly the 19th Century work on earlier lines.

Willesden Church's atmospheric interior.

Inside, as said, a mix of styles and ages, with the 13th Century part, so the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments tells us, being the south arcade of the nave, and the charming chapel on the south side being 16th Century.

There are five 17th Century monuments, all significant, and about 10 later ones, with something of a breadth of styles.

17th Century monuments

Richard Paine, d.1606, and wife Margerie, d.1595, kneeler monument.

Monument to Sir John Francklyn, d.1647/48, and detail.

19th Century monuments and later

We may also mention one modern brass, to Revd. Brownlow Thomas Atlay, Vicar until 1902, the panel being typical of its period, with black capital lettering, the principal capitals picked out in red, and an inscribed double border with repeating little crucifixes and decorative lines.

Also in the Church:

One of the Angel candleholders.

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures from inside St Mary's; their website is

Top of page

West to Harrow Church // South-West to Perivale Church // South to Acton Church

Monuments in some London Churches // Churches in the City of London // Introduction to church monuments

Angel statues // Cherub sculpture

London sculpture // Sculptors


Visits to this page from 10 Feb 2015: 5,213