St Mary the Virgin Mortlake

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St Mary the Virgin Mortlake
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Style Tudor, with more recent additions
Diocese Southwark
Rector The Revd Canon Dr Ann Nickson
Director of music Nigel Condry[1]
Churchwarden(s) Caroline Edelin and Linda Roberts

St Mary the Virgin Mortlake is a parish church in Mortlake, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is part of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. The rector is The Revd Canon Dr Ann Nickson.

The building, on Mortlake High Street, London SW14, dates from 1543 and is Grade II* listed.[2]


South door
John Dee memorial plaque installed in 2013 inside the church

The first chapel in Mortlake stood on the river side of the High Street, on a site now occupied by Mortlake Brewery. The only surviving relic is a 15th-century font presented to this church by Archbishop Bourchier (1405-86).[3]

The present churchyard and church were given to the parish by King Henry VIII in 1543, an event commemorated by a stone in the west front of the tower. Its inscription[3]"VIVAT RH8 1543" is dismissed by Cherry and Pevsner as "bogus":[4]

The 1543 building has undergone many alterations and enlargements during its long history and, of the original Tudor church, only the tower remains.[3] The belfry and the cupola are a distinctive feature of the tower which appears as a landmark in many historic prints and pictures of the Thames bank. The current appearance of the church is mostly the work of local architect Sir Arthur Blomfield, who built the chancel in 1885; his firm built the nave in 1905.[4]

The vestry house dates from 1670. It was restored in 1979/80.[3]

The earliest surviving tomb in the churchyard is that of the astrologer John Partridge, who died in 1715. Memorials to other famous people include a British Prime Minister, Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (d.1844) [1][5] and three Lord Mayors of London. A memorial to John Dee (1527–1609), who is buried in an unmarked spot beneath the chancel,[3] was unveiled in June 2013.[6]

Other uses[edit]

Mortlake Quiet Gardens are based around the landscaped churchyard and are affiliated to the The Quiet Garden Trust.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Music". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Parish Church of St Mary". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Maisie Brown (1997). Barnes and Mortlake Past with East Sheen. London: Historical Publications. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0 948667 46 X. 
  4. ^ a b Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 513. ISBN 0 14 0710 47 7. 
  5. ^ "Henry Addington (1757-1844) First Viscount Sidmouth". Napoleon & Empire. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Welcome". John Dee of Mortlake Society. 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mortlake Quiet Gardens". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′10″N 0°15′42″W / 51.4695°N 0.2616°W / 51.4695; -0.2616