Tag Archives: Mortlake


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.