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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


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The rebuilding 1774 - 1777

 J.C.Barrow’s splendid aquatint of the new church in 1798. (A.R. Martin Collection Lewisham Local Studies Library)

Serious structural problems arising from the church’s proximity to the River Ravensbourne led to the commissioning of a structural survey in 1773. Instead of remedying the faults it was decided to build a new church to the designs of George Gibson, a local architect. The floor level of the new, and much larger, Georgian church was 10 feet above that of its predecessor. The interior was plain and unadorned – a “preaching box”  – except for the addition of a few fine memorials: Maria Lushington (by the sculptor John Flaxman), two monuments to the Petrie Family by Thomas Banks and Van Pook.

John Wesley preached here in 1777 on one of his many visits to Ebenezer Blackwell who lived in “The Limes” in Lewisham High Street. A monument to the Blackwell family is in the churchyard.

Mary Lushington’s memorial by John Flaxman

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