Another in the series on the historic churches of the out-parishes of London …
By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of the City. There were a further twelve in the out-parishes of Middlesex (north of the river) and Surrey (south of the river).
Lambeth Church (St Mary-at-Lambeth) was originally built in the eleventh century, and subsequently rebuilt in the fourteenth and again in the eighteenth. The tower of 1377 survives from the fourteenth-century rebuild.
Here are buried, among others, John Tradescant Sr. (c. 1580-1638), the gardener to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury; and his son John Tradescant Jr. (1608-62), the gardener to Charles II. As well as being gardeners, the Tradescants were also travellers, collectors of curiosities, and joint founders of the Musaeum Tradescantianum, in a building called “The Ark” in Vauxhall, which was England’s first museum open to the public (at a cost of 6d). In time, their collections were acquired by Elias Ashmole, and in 1691 donated by him to Oxford University, to form the nucleus of the Ashmolean Museum.