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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

John Parkinson

John Parkinson was a celebrated dentist living in London with a country retreat at Langley Lodge, Lewisham.  He died in Oct 1840, the year the reclining dentist’s chair had been invented. An entry can be found in St.Mary’s burial register and his death was also recorded in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’.

The guild that had united the barbers and surgeons was dissolved in 1745, with the surgeons going their own way. Some barbers continued their dental ministrations and were designated “tooth drawers.” A second group, referred to themselves as “dentists,” while those who did all manner of dentistry were called “operators for the teeth.” The first English book on dentistry, The Operator for the Teeth, by Englishman Charles Allen, was published in 1685; however, no other works on English dentistry were published until Thomas Berdmore, dentist to King George III, published his treatise on dental disorders and deformities, in 1768. In 1771 English surgeon John Hunter, famed as the father of modern surgery, published The Natural History of the Human Teeth, an outstanding text on dental anatomy. In 1856 English dentist Sir John Tomes led the formation of the first dental organization in England, the Odontological Society. It was through the activity of this group that the Royal Dental Hospital of London was established in 1858.