St Peter's Church, Petersham

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Petersham Parish Church
St Peter's, Petersham
St Peter's parish church, Petersham in 2008
Petersham Parish Church is located in London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Petersham Parish Church
Petersham Parish Church
51°26′48.12″N 0°18′4.68″W / 51.4467000°N 0.3013000°W / 51.4467000; -0.3013000
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Central
Founded Saxon times. Part of the chancel in the present building dates from 1266; the main body of the church was rebuilt in 1505
Parish St Peter's, Petersham
Deanery Richmond & Barnes
Archdeaconry Wandsworth
Diocese Southwark
Priest in charge The Revd Canon Tim Marwood[1]
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name Parish Church of St Peter
Designated 10 January 1950
Reference no. 1065334
The interior of the church, showing the Georgian box pews and the unusual gallery organ
The churchyard

St Peter's Church is the parish church of the village of Petersham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is part of the Diocese of Southwark in the Church of England. The main body of the church building dates from the 16th century, although parts of the chancel are 13th century and evidence in Domesday Book suggests that there may have been a church on the site in Saxon times. Nikolaus Pevsner and Bridget Cherry describe it as a "church of uncommon charm... [whose] interior is well preserved in its pre-Victorian state".[2] The church, which is Grade II* listed,[3] includes Georgian box pews, a two-decker pulpit made in 1796,[2] and a display of the royal arms of the House of Hanover, installed in 1810.[4] Several notable people are buried in the churchyard, which includes some Grade II-listed tombs.

Marriages at St Peter's[edit]

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, cousin of Charles II, is said to have married, at Petersham in 1664, Lady Francesca Bard, mother of his son Dudley Bard (born c. 1666).[5]

Lady Jane Hyde, the daughter of Henry Hyde, Earl of Rochester, married William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex at the church on 27 November 1718. Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait of her is one of the "Beauties" at Hampton Court Palace.[5]

Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck, who lived in a house on Ham Common, married at the church in 1881.[6][7] Their daughter, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, married the Duke of York in 1923 and became Queen Elizabeth in 1936 when the duke came to the throne as King George VI.

People buried or commemorated in the church/churchyard[edit]

The oldest headstone in the churchyard is that of Mary Karze (d. 1686).[5] It is Grade II listed.[8]

Mary Berry (1763–1852), author and editor, and her sister Agnes Berry (1764–1852), are buried in the churchyard.[5]

Mary Burdekin (d. 1772), believed to be the first baker of Maids of Honour pastries, is buried in the churchyard.[5]

Sir George Cole (d. 1624)[9] and his family are commemorated in the monument in the chancel erected in 1624. He was called to the bar in 1597 and was a member of the Middle Temple.[9] He married his wife Frances at St. Peter’s in 1585. The family vault is under the chancel.[5]

John Darbourne's headstone

Theodora Jane Cowper (d. 1824), the cousin of the poet William Cowper, is buried in the churchyard.[5]

John Darbourne (1935–91), architect, is buried in the churchyard.

Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839), is buried in a Grade II-listed tomb in the churchyard.[10]

Sir John Whittaker Ellis (1829–1912) is buried in the churchyard and has a plaque in the north chancel. He was Lord Mayor of London from 1881 to 1882 and the first mayor of the Municipal Borough of Richmond (Surrey) from 1890 to 1891.[5]

Sir Thomas Jenner (1637–1707) is buried in the churchyard. There is also a plaque to him on the chancel wall.[5]

Elizabeth Maitland, Duchess of Lauderdale (1626–98), who became Countess of Dysart on the death of her father, William Murray, the owner of Ham House, married the Duke of Lauderdale at Petersham in 1672. She is buried with other Dysart family members in a vault under the chancel.[5]

Albert Henry Scott (1844–65), photographer and third son of the architect George Gilbert Scott, is buried in the churchyard; his tomb is Grade II listed.[11]

The explorer Captain George Vancouver (1757–98) wrote his Voyage of Discovery[12] when staying in Petersham.[5] He has a memorial tablet in the church and is buried in the churchyard; his grave is Grade II listed.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish Contacts". Richmond & Barnes Deanery: Petersham, St Peter. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. pp. 514–515. ISBN 0-14-0710-47-7. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Parish Church of St Peter (1065334)". National Heritage List for England. 
  4. ^ Hasler, Charles (1980). The Royal Arms — Its Graphic And Decorative Development. Jupiter Books. p. 236. ISBN 978-0904041200. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "St Peter's Church, Petersham" (PDF). Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  6. ^ White, Geoffrey & Cokayne, G E (1953). The Complete Peerage, vol. XII. London: St Catherine's Press. pp. 402–403. 
  7. ^ Civil Registration Indexes: Marriages General Register Office, England and Wales Jul–Sep 1881 Richmond, Surrey vol. 2a, p. 549
  8. ^ Historic England. "Tomb of Mary Karze in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380184)". National Heritage List for England. 
  9. ^ a b Baker, John (2013). Collected Papers on English Legal History. Cambridge University Press. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "Tomb of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380186)". National Heritage List for England. 
  11. ^ Historic England. "Tomb of Albert Henry Scott in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380183)". National Heritage List for England. 
  12. ^ Vancouver, George; edited by Vancouver, John (1798). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World: In which the Coast of North-west America Has Been Carefully Examined and Accurately Surveyed: Undertaken by His Majesty's Command, Principally with a View to Ascertain the Existence of Any Navigable Communication Between the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, and Performed in the Years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795, in the Discovery Sloop of War, and Armed Tender Chatham, Under the Command of Captain George Vancouver: in Three Volumes. G G and J Robinson and J Edwards. 
  13. ^ Historic England. "Tomb of Captain George Vancouver in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380182)". National Heritage List for England. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°26′48″N 0°18′05″W / 51.4467°N 0.3013°W / 51.4467; -0.3013