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.

St Mary the Virgin, Mortlake
St Mary the Virgin Mortlake.JPG
LocationMortlake High Street
London SW14 8JA
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
Previous denominationRoman Catholic
StyleTudor, with more recent additions
Years builtfrom 1543
ParishMortlake with East Sheen[1]
DeaneryRichmond and Barnes
ArchdeaconryArchdeaconry of Wandsworth
Episcopal areaKingston Episcopal Area
RectorThe Revd Canon Dr Ann Nickson[2]
Curate(s)Revd Gareth Davies[2]
Director of musicNigel Condry[3]
Churchwarden(s)Linda Roberts
Perry Kitchen[2]
Parish administratorCheri Crump[2]
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameParish Church of St Mary
Designated25 October 1951
Reference no.1357705

The building, on Mortlake High Street, London SW14, dates from 1543 and is Grade II* listed.[4]


The first chapel in Mortlake, founded in 1348,[4] stood on the river side of the High Street, on a site later occupied by Mortlake Brewery. The only surviving relic is a 15th-century font presented to this church by Archbishop Bourchier (c.1404–86).[5]

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 "VIVAT RH8 1543"[5] is dismissed by Cherry and Pevsner as "bogus".[6]

The 1543 building has undergone many alterations and enlargements during its long history and, of the original Tudor church, only the tower remains.[5] 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.[6]

The vestry house dates from 1670. It was restored in 1979/80.[5]

Internal fittingsEdit

The church's pulpit was installed in 1902 in memory of Albert Shadwell Shutt, who had been the church's vicar from 1866 to 1896.


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 (1757–1844)[7][8] and three Lord Mayors of London.[9] A memorial to John Dee (1527–1609), who lived opposite the church and is buried in an unmarked spot beneath the chancel,[5] was unveiled in June 2013.[10]

Present dayEdit

Together with Christ Church, East Sheen and All Saints' Church, East Sheen, St Mary's forms the parish of Mortlake with East Sheen. The parish publishes a monthly magazine, Parish Link.[11] The church stands in the Central and Liberal traditions of the Church of England.[12] Services are held on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.[13]

Mortlake Quiet Gardens are based around the landscaped churchyard and are affiliated to The Quiet Garden Trust.[14][15]



  1. ^ "The Parish of Mortlake with East Sheen". Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Contact us". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Music". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Historic England. "Parish Church of St Mary (1357705)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Tomb of Henry Addington". Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. ^ Lionel A Bouchon and Didier Grau. "Henry Addington (1757–1844) First Viscount Sidmouth". Personalities. Napoleon & Empire. Retrieved 20 July 2015.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Churchyard and Labyrinth". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Welcome". John Dee of Mortlake Society. 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  11. ^ "A New Team Vicar for All Saints East Sheen" (pdf). All Saints Church, East Sheen. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Our Services". St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  13. ^ Christopher Middleton (27 April 2012). "Quiet gardens: time to sit and stare". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Mortlake Quiet Gardens". The Quiet Garden Trust. Retrieved 5 October 2016.

External linksEdit