Our History

St Mary's lies in a quiet and historic corner of south west London, in the heart of the Merton Park Conservation Area, south of Wimbledon.

A church has stood on this site since before the Domesday Book. It was founded by the Augustinian Canons who also founded Merton Priory. Parts of the present building date back to 1115. The roof of the nave is nearly 900 years old and that of the chancel dates from 1400. The two aisles were built in the last century to accommodate the population explosion.

The churchyard has a number of notable graves and monuments, including those of John Innes and William Rutlish.

Download our churchyard trail

We are also proud to be the home of 27 Commonwealth War Graves . The St Mary's War Graves Roll of Honour can be downloaded by following the link on the left of this page (or on our mobile site's main menu), which details each of the fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen from both World Wars.

Every generation has left its mark on St Mary's:

    • the gateway to the ancient Merton Priory.
    • the fine Elizabethan memorial of Gregory Lovell.
    • the tomb of Rear Admiral Issac Smith, the first Englishman to land in Australia.
    • a monument to the widow of Captain Cook.
    • Lord Nelson's seat - he worshipped regularly at this church towards the end of his life.
    • the funeral hatchments of Lord Nelson and Sir William Hamilton.
    • stained glass from the 1400's and Burne-Jones designed windows from the local factory of William Morris.
    • Edward Rayne (of Raynes Park) is buried in the South Aisle.
Lovell Memorial
  • our fine Mander pipe organ, built and installed in 2015.
  • A fine painting in the bell tower - "Christ Falling Under the Cross".  Read more about the painting here.
  • Visit Bob Steer's website detailing St Mary's monuments
  • You can buy a colour guide to St Mary's at the back of the church.
  • Images:

    Top - Burne Jones window in the south aisle;
    Bottom - Memorial of Sir Gregory Lovell in the chancel.