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Heritage Trail

Research and notes by Julian Watson

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Gallery

Ground floor

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The present church was built 1774 - 1777 to the design of George Gibson on the site of earlier churches. Gibson's design incorporated the tower (1471-1512) of the medieval church.

The chancel, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, was added in 1881 when the nave was re-modelled in Victorian style. Major re-ordering took place from 1995.



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Entrance

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St.Mary the Virgin, Lewisham Lewisham High Street  SE13 6LE

St.Mary the Virgin Lewisham

346 Lewisham High Street

SE13 6LE   020 8690 2682


Contacts

Memorial to Mary Blackshaw

Nee Lushington who died in 1797 aged 25. Her mother Paulina Commissioned John Flaxman, the eminent sculptor, to create the monument and William Hayley, an eminent poet, to write the verse. Hayley's son Thomas, a teenager, was fatally ill while his father composed the poem. William and Paulina Lushington lived at Camden Place, Chislehurst and had a town house in Devonshire Street. William was the British agent in Grenada and had plantations in Trinidad and Mustique. William and Paulina married in Calcutta where Mary was baptised.

Poem by William Hayley on the Lushington tomb


Blame not, ye calm observers of distress,

A mother sorrowing to a fond excess!

True filial excellence, of life so brief,

Claims the full tribute of no common grief:

Here friendship, form’d by nature’s sweetest tie,

And hallow’d e’en by Heaven’s approving eye,

Laments the dearest joys, affection gave,

Lost in the darkness of a daughter’s grave.

Pity absolves the Parent thus o’ercome;

Her reason crush’d, her resignation dumb!

No human comforters such pangs controul,

But Seraphs whisper to the mourner’s soul;

‘Raise thy sunk eye to her, in sainted rest,

Whose beauty charm’d thee, whose perfection blest !

Whose voice, now joining the seraphic quire,

To thee was soothing as devotion’s lyre!

See her exalted from the mists of earth,

To radiant recompense for spotless worth!

And let her merit (still thy graceful pride)

Prove, to the Throne of Truth, her Parent’s guide.



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