St Mary's Church, Twickenham

St Mary's Church, Twickenham, also known as St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham, is a Grade II* listed[2] Church of England place of worship dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. It is on Church Street, Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England.[3]

St Mary's Church, Twickenham
Twickenham, St Mary's Church - - 164928.jpg
St Mary's Church, Twickenham (in 2006)
St Mary's Church, Twickenham is located in England
St Mary's Church, Twickenham
St Mary's Church, Twickenham
51°26′49″N 0°19′32″W / 51.447°N 0.3255°W / 51.447; -0.3255Coordinates: 51°26′49″N 0°19′32″W / 51.447°N 0.3255°W / 51.447; -0.3255
LocationChurch Street, Twickenham, Middlesex, England
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
DedicationSt Mary the Virgin
Associated peopleGodfrey Kneller[1]
Architect(s)John James[1]
Architectural typeNeo-classical
Materialsbrick, stone
DioceseLondon Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Kensington Area)
ParishSt Mary's, Twickenham
Vicar(s)Revd Jeff Hopkin Williams
Director of musicAdrian Mumford
Churchwarden(s)Judy Britton
Katherine Cox
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameChurch of St Mary
Designated2 September 1952
Reference no.1080852

The parish church stands a short distance from York House and the banks of the River Thames, immediately opposite Eel Pie Island.


The church stands on the site of an earlier one and incorporates its 15th-century medieval tower. On 9 April 1713 the ancient church's 14th-century nave collapsed. The painter Godfrey Kneller was a churchwarden of St Mary's at the time and was active in the plans for reconstruction in the Neo-classical style by the local architect John James.[1][4] A local resident, Lady Wentworth, wrote a month after the collapse that it had been foreseen by a new vicar, Dr Pratt:[4]

Dr Pratt had insisted that a tabernakle be erected in the churchyard, prior to the collapse. Soe he preached there and exhorted al to giv thanks for thear great deleverenc for the church not falling when they wear in it, it being then standing. The people all laughed at him, and in a weeks time it fell to the ground, soe all the parish contrebutse to the building of it.[4]

Inside the 18th-century church some older monuments have survived from the medieval nave, including a brass to Richard Burton, the King's chief cook, and Agnes his wife, dated 1443.[4][5]

Inside the church are some fine monuments including those to:[6]

On 20 June 1721 Dr Pratt baptised at the church "James Shandayes and John Twogood", described as two Indian princes.[7] They were followed in 1747 by Henry Fielding's son William.[8] Hallam Tennyson, son of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and eventually second Governor-General of Australia, was christened at the church in 1852.[9]

The 18th-century nave of the church is in red brick with Tuscan pilasters and pediments. Following the reconstruction of 1713–14, the church was enlarged in 1754 and contains fittings of the same period, including a reredos and gallery fronts. The tower has a ring of eight bells, of which one dates from the early 16th century, three from the 17th and four from the 18th.[5]

Extent of parishEdit

Like the ancient church on the site, the present one began life as the parish church for the whole of Twickenham. However, housing development in the 19th and 20th centuries led to new parishes being created for several new Church of England churches: Holy Trinity Twickenham (1842), St Philip and St James Church, Whitton (1862), St Stephen's, Twickenham (1875), All Saints Church, Twickenham (1914) and All Hallows, Twickenham (1939). As these came into being, the parish of St Mary's became smaller, but it still takes in most of central Twickenham.[5]


There is a memorial to timber merchant James Montgomrey's wife Henrietta (1818–1905) in the church, but both she and her husband were buried at Isleworth Cemetery[15][16]

The funeral of Neil Aspinall (1941–2008), head of The Beatles' company Apple Corps and sometimes called "the fifth Beatle", took place at the church in 2008, although Aspinall was buried at Teddington.[17]

St Mary's Church in artEdit

The church is featured in Osmund Caine's painting Wedding at Twickenham Parish Church (1948), which is in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Art Collection.[18][19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Richard Stuteley Cobbett, Memorials of Twickenham: parochial and topographical (Smith, Elder & Co., 1872), p. 402
  2. ^ Historic England (2 September 1952). "Church of St Maryl (1080852)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  3. ^ London Borough of Richmond upon Thames: Listed buildings (pdf file) at
  4. ^ a b c d St Mary's Church at, accessed 14 October 2012
  5. ^ a b c d SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, TWICKENHAM at, accessed 20 October 2012
  6. ^ "Twickenham Church Monuments, South West London". The Second Website of Bob Speel.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Frederic Chapman, illus. Thomas R. Way, Architectural Remains of Richmond, Twickenham, Kew, Mortlake, and Petersham (The Wildhern Press, 2008 edition, ISBN 184830059X), p. 65
  8. ^ Martin C. Battestin, A Henry Fielding Companion (Greenwood, 2000, ISBN 031329707X), p. 4
  9. ^ Cecil Y. Lang & Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. (eds.), The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Volume II: 1851-1870 (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0674525849), p. 47
  10. ^ Richard Stutely Cobbett, Memorials of Twickenham (London, 1872), p. 86.
  11. ^ a b Warren M. Billings, Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia (Louisiana State University Press, 2010 edition), p. 268 (footnote)
  12. ^ a b c Lynn F. Pearson, Discovering Famous Graves (Shire Discovering vol. 288, 2008, ISBN 0747806195), p. 82
  13. ^ Paul David Nelson, William Tryon and the Course of Empire: A Life in British Imperial Service (University of North Carolina Press, 1990, ISBN 0807819174), p. 181
  14. ^ George Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. E to G (St Catherine Press, Limited, 1926), p. 43
  15. ^ B. F. Ronalds, "The Montgomrey Family of Brentford: Timber Merchants and Benefactors" in London’s Industrial Archaeology, volume 16, pp. 57-69
  16. ^ A. B. Willson, Memorials and Ledgerstones of St Mary’s Church Twickenham
  17. ^ Anita Singh (9 April 2008). "Yoko Ono and Stella McCartney attend 'fifth Beatle' Neil Aspinall's funeral". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Wedding at Twickenham Parish Church". Art UK. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  19. ^ Madeleine Luxton (2 June 2020). "Collection Focus – Wedding at Twickenham Church". Orleans House Gallery. Retrieved 19 May 2021.

Further readingEdit

  • The story of St Mary's, the parish church of Twickenham (Parish Church of St Mary's Twickenham, 1961)
  • The Parish Church of Twickenham, St Mary the Virgin (British Publishing Company Limited, 1975, ISBN 0714010472)
  • E. A. Morris, The Bells of St Mary's, Twickenham (State Mutual Book & Periodical Service, 1986, ISBN 0785520104)
  • Adrian Mumford & Donald Herbert Simpson, The Organs of St Mary's Parish Church, Twickenham (St Mary's Parish Church, 1996, ISBN 0952831503)

External linksEdit