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St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, Mortlake facts for kids

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St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, Mortlake
St Mary Magdalen's Church, Mortlake.jpg
Location 61 North Worple Way, Mortlake, London SW14 8PR
Country England, United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Architect(s) Gilbert Blount
Style Gothic Revival
Years built 1852
Parish Mortlake
Deanery Mortlake
Diocese Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark
Province Southwark
Priest(s) Fr Adrian McKenna-Whyte

St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, Mortlake is a Roman Catholic church in North Worple Way, Mortlake, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Its priest is Canon Francis Moran.

The church building, in Gothic Revival style, was designed by Gilbert Blount, architect to the first Archbishop of Westminster, Nicholas Wiseman, and dates from 1852.

The church's first parish priest, Fr John Wenham, was a convert from the Oxford Movement, who had studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and had been an Anglican army chaplain in Ceylon.


  • John Francis Bentley (1839–1902), the architect of Westminster Cathedral in London, is buried in the churchyard.
  • Walter Blount (1807–1894), a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London, is buried in the churchyard.
  • Katharine Harris Bradley (1846–1914) and her niece and ward Edith Emma Cooper (1862–1913), who together wrote about 40 works of poetry and verse drama and long journal Works and Days, using the pseudonym Michael Field, were buried together in the churchyard. A now-lost marble tomb was erected in 1926.
  • Alexander Kerr (1838-1909) a Scottish banker who was the first manager for the Bank of New Zealand.
  • Donald MacGregor (1839–1911) was a Scottish Liberal Party politician. From 1892 to 1895 he was a Member of Parliament for the Inverness-shire constituency. He is buried in the churchyard.
  • May Probyn (1856–1909), British fin de siècle poet, is buried in the churchyard. She published a novel in 1878, and became a Catholic convert in the following decade.
  • Leonard Stokes (1858–1925), an architect who designed many Roman Catholic buildings, including churches, convents and schools, as well as country houses and around 20 telephone exchanges, is buried in the churchyard. In 1919 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, having served as its president from 1910 to 1912.

Sir Richard and Lady Burton

The cemetery includes a Grade II* listed tent-shaped mausoleum of Carrara marble and Forest of Dean stone, containing the tombs of the Victorian explorer Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890) and his wife, Isabel, Lady Burton (née Arundell; 1831–1896), who designed it; she also erected the memorial stained-glass window to Burton, which is next to the lady chapel in the church.

Comte de Vezlo Mausoleum

The cemetery includes another mausoleum, commemorating the very young Comte de Vezlo, Guilaume Henri (1894–1901). A plaque near the mauseolum's entrance also commemorates his mother, Annette Rosamonde Blasio, the Comtesse de Vezlo, who died in 1938. The architect is not known.

Sir James Marshall

Sir James Marshall (1829–1889), a British colonial judge who helped the spread of Roman Catholicism in Ghana and Nigeria, is buried in the churchyard cemetery. His wife Alice (née Young) died in 1926 and is also buried in the churchyard. A memorial plaque inside the church was unveiled on 11 August 1999, 100 years after his death.

The Knights and Ladies of Marshall, a lay association of Ghanaian Catholics, visit the church in Mortlake annually to celebrate a Mass in his memory.

War graves

The cemetery contains war graves of four service personnel of World War I and two of World War II.

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