Lumley Chapel

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Lumley Chapel
Lumley Chapel from the southeast
Lumley Chapel is located in Greater London
Lumley Chapel
Lumley Chapel
Location in Greater London
Coordinates: 51°21′38″N 0°12′58″W / 51.3606°N 0.2161°W / 51.3606; -0.2161
OS grid referenceTQ 243 638
London Borough of Sutton
WebsiteChurches Conservation Trust
Former name(s)St Dunstan's Church, Cheam
DedicationSaint Dunstan
Functional statusRedundant
Heritage designationGrade II*
Designated28 August 1953
Architectural typeChurch
StyleNorman, Gothic
MaterialsRoughcast stone and brick
Tiled roof

The Lumley Chapel is a redundant Anglican church in the suburban village of Cheam, in the London Borough of Sutton, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building,[1] and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[2] The chapel is located in the churchyard of St Dunstan's Church in Church Road, off Malden Road, the A2043.[2][3]


The Archbishop of Canterbury acquired the manor of Cheam in 1018, and it is thought that the church was founded soon after this date. It was dedicated to Saint Dunstan, an earlier Archbishop of Canterbury. A south aisle was added to the church in the 12th century. In 1580 John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley inherited the nearby Nonsuch Palace through his marriage to Jane Fitzalan, daughter of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel. During the 1590s Lumley converted the church into a memorial chapel for himself and his two wives.[4][5][6][7]

In the early 18th century the church consisted of a chancel with a south chapel, a nave with a south aisle, and a west tower. Later in the century, possibly in 1746, the south aisle and the south wall of the nave were demolished and replaced by a wider nave. At the same time a north aisle and a south porch were added. In 1864 a new church, also dedicated to St Dunstan, was built to the north. The older church was demolished, other than the east end of the chancel which was retained to contain the monuments and brasses from the old church.[8] This remnant of the former church was declared redundant on 16 June 2002,[9] and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 1 August 2002.[10]


The chapel is the oldest standing building in the London Borough of Sutton.[4] It is constructed in partly roughcast rubble stone and brick. It has a tiled roof.[1] The east window dates from the 15th century and has three lights. In the south wall is the blocked arcade that formerly led into the south chapel.[8] In the north wall are fragments of a blocked window from the Saxon or the early Norman era. Inside the church the walls are plastered. Along the top of the north and south walls is a frieze decorated with fruit and foliage. Over this is a cornice, rising from which is a plastered barrel vault decorated with ribs and pendants.[8]


Monument to Jane Lumley

Inside the chapel are alabaster and marble monuments to John Lumley and his two wives, Lady Jane Fitzalan and Elizabeth Darcy.[5] Lady Jane died in 1578; her tomb is decorated with family coats of arms and depictions of Jane's three children at prayer in the chapel of Nonsuch Palace. John Lumley died in 1609; his tomb is also decorated with heraldry. Elizabeth Darcy died in 1617.[4] Her recumbent effigy lies on the tomb.[8] Detailed preparatory coloured drawings of the three monuments, made in about 1590, appear in Lumley's Red Velvet Book.[6][7]

Other memorials include those to the Pybus family of Cheam House, and the Antrobus family of Lower Cheam House. A mural monument exists in memory of the merchant, lawyer and philosopher James Boevey (1622–1696) and his third wife Margaretta (1638–1714). On the south wall is a tablet to Ann, the five-year-old daughter of Rev William Gilpin, headmaster of Cheam School.[4] The brasses are dated between 1450 and 1632.[8]

Associated features[edit]

The currently active parish church of St Dunstan, designed by F. H. Pownall, is situated to the north of the chapel, and is also designated as a Grade II* listed building.[11] The lychgate, dated 1891, at the entrance to the churchyard, is listed Grade II.[12] In the churchyard are three tombs, each of which is Grade II listed. [13][14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Historic England, "Remains of Old Church of St Dunstan, Now known as the Lumley Chapel, Sutton (1183440)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013
  2. ^ a b Lumley Chapel (St Dunstan's), Cheam, Surrey, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 30 March 2011
  3. ^ Cheam, Streetmap, retrieved 30 March 2011
  4. ^ a b c d The Lumley Chapel, London Borough of Sutton, archived from the original on 27 September 2011, retrieved 30 March 2011
  5. ^ a b Dunk 1954.
  6. ^ a b Llewellyn and Gapper 2010.
  7. ^ a b Simon 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e Malden, H. E., ed. (1912), "Parishes: Cheam", A History of the County of Surrey, Victoria County History, University of London & History of Parliament Trust, 4, pp. 194–199, retrieved 30 March 2011
  9. ^ Schemes, Diocese of Southwark, retrieved 30 March 2011
  10. ^ Diocese of Southwark: All Schemes (PDF), Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 2011, p. 8, retrieved 30 March 2011
  11. ^ Historic England, "Church of St Dunstan, Sutton (1065676)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013
  12. ^ Historic England, "Lychgate in the Churchyard of St Dunstan's, Sutton (1357594)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013
  13. ^ Historic England, "The tomb of Fleetwood Dormer d. 1736 in the Churchyard of St Dunstan's, Sutton (1382344)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013
  14. ^ Historic England, "The tomb of William Farmer c.1815 in the Churchyard of St Dunstan's, Sutton (1382345)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013
  15. ^ Historic England, "The tomb of Christian and Henry Neale d. 1675 and Eliza Dutton d. 1687 in the Churchyard of St Dunstan's, Sutton (1382351)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 20 August 2013

Further reading[edit]

  • Dunk, Herbert (1954). "The Lumley Monuments in the Ancient Church of St Dunstan, Cheam, Surrey". Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society. new ser. 2: 93–107.
  • Llewellyn, Nigel; Gapper, Claire (2010). "The Funeral Monuments". In Evans, Mark (ed.). The Lumley Inventory and Pedigree: art collecting and lineage in the Elizabethan Age: facsimile and commentary on the manuscript in the possession of the Earls of Scarbrough. Roxburghe Club. pp. 35–8. ISBN 978-0-903912-11-2.
  • Simon, Robin (2010). "The Lumley Inventory and the Lumley Chapel". British Art Journal. 11 (1): 4–5.