Saturday, 12 September 2015

A Year in Pictures – 11 September 2015 – Richmond Parish Church

I had lunch with a friend in Richmond today and, before walking back to Twickenham, took a short detour into St Mary Magdelene Church.

Sorry about the charmless table – could probably do something whizzy with Photoshop to remove it from sight.
The origins of the church seem to lie in a 13th-century chapel, but the main structure is from the 17th century. There were alterations in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the replacement of the plaster ceiling of the nave with timber in 1866—a move which Pevsner described as 'inappropriate'—and the chancel was later changed to a Gothic style.  The building is Grade II* listed, which means that it is  "particularly important" and "of more than special interest" for architectural or historical reasons.

Although he is buried elsewhere, the actor Edmund Kean (1787–1833) has a memorial here as he spent the last years of his extremely colourful life managing the local theatre.

The decorative scheme which you see is by my late uncle, who was an architect, but this is to be replaced as part of a major reordering of the church interior currently being planned—that explains why the organ is currently veiled by polythene sheeting, since organs are very vulnerable to dust and building dust is particularly harmful.

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