Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
Mortlake was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Mortelage, from the Old English “mort”, meaning young salmon, and “lacu”, stream (and possibly referring to a long-lost fishery on the Beverley Brook).
Church of St Mary
The church of St Mary was originally built in 1543, subsequently extended in 1694-95, and substantially rebuilt between 1885-1905. The tower survives from the post-Medieval church, the font from a nearby Medieval predecessor (originally built within the curtilage of the manor house in 1349). The oldest surviving brass memorial dates to 1616. A modern slate memorial marks the spot where the “Clerk in Holy Orders, Astronomer, Geographer, Mathematician and Adviser to Queen Elizabeth I” John Dee (1527-1609) is buried in an otherwise unmarked grave in the chancel.
Readers may be interested to know that there is currently an exhibition entitled “Scholar, Courtier, Magician: The Lost Library Of John Dee” at the Royal College of Physicians. It will run until July 29th.