Monuments in St Mary Wimbledon, South West London

St Mary’s Parish Church in Wimbledon is a Victorian building, but inside is a collection of monuments some of which are from the earlier church on the site. There are just over 30 monuments in all, including a couple from the 16th Century, one 17th Century, and several 19th Century panels dating from before the 1843 rebuilding; then more from the 19th Century and early 20th Century, with a modern one of 1992. Among the collection is the artistically interesting monument to Bazalgette, engineer of the Victoria and Albert Embankments. Some of the variety of plainer things are signed by the sculptors and masons who made them, mostly local and rather obscure, and there are a few important names, including Sir Richard Westmacott (James Percy monument) with figure sculpture, and William Calder Marshall (John Miland, with a portrait bust).

Wimbledon Parish Church of St Mary's, interior.

First, a couple of words on the Church itself. St Mary’s was put up in 1843 to the design of the quintessential Victorian architect Gilbert Scott, in Perpendicular Gothic style, five bays long and with a tower, all faced with flint and with pale freestone dressings, and a really rather tall spire. It replaced a medieval church, bits of the structure of which were incorporated in the rebuild. Inside, the Church is lofty, bright, retains boxed pews in dark wood, and has a hammerbeam ceiling, and galleries on both sides, all helping to keep an ambience of warmth and age.

Monuments – 16th and 17th Century

Early 19th Century Monuments (from before the Church was rebuilt):

Whitlock Nicholl, d.1838, by H.O. Smith of the Savoy.

Later 19th Century Monuments (after the Church was rebuilt):

Sir J.W. Bazalgette monument, by Gaffin.

20th Century Monuments:

Modern Brasses:

Also in the Church:

Churchyard:

Outside, the evocative churchyard stretches around the Church, with a variety of large stone monuments, many in Portland stone, including a large number of altar tombs – great box-shaped monuments in a variety of proportions, sometimes with a bit of carving, but predominantly architectural rather than sculptural monuments.

The grandest monument is that to Sir Joseph Bazalgette, a panel to whom we saw inside the Church. A massive capped plinth, or sort, wide topped obelisk, with acroteria at the corners, and resting on a broader structure with steps leading down to an iron door underground.

Sir J.W. Bazalgette, d.1891, tomb outside the Church.

A wander through the Churchyard finds many interesting tombs, among which we can mention:

With many thanks to the Church authorities for permission to show pictures from inside St Mary's; their website is http://www.stmaryswimbledon.org/about/history/.

Top of page

Merton Church monuments, a mile southwards // and Wimbledon tramline monuments

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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