The Churchyard

The early villagers have no memorials. The oldest tablet is dated 1662 and is to be found on the vestry wall in memory of 'that zealous Minr. of J. Christ, Mr J, Simpson'. Around the churchyard are the graves of many leading parishioners who helped create the history of St Mary's Church; Samuel Mason, carpenter, and William Terry and William Jennings, bricklayers who built the Georgian church and William Watney, brewer; the Marryat family tomb is at the end of the path north of the baptistery. There is no inscription but the tomb can be recognised by the family arms and crest which include a vulture and a ram's head. Near the Marryat family grave is a large pyramid of Portland stone in memory of Gerard de Visme d. 1797 who lived at Wimbledon Lodge, Southside. He left money for the annual repair of his tomb and for bread to be given to the poor 'in the winter months'. Opposite the south porch are two large Spencer tombs, one of the Countess of Lucan and the other of the Second Earl's daughter, Lady Georgiana Quinn who, at the age of 28, died in childbirth.

Along with Chiswick and Hampstead, Wimbledon churchyard possesses the highest concentration of listed monuments anywhere in Greater London, one of which is the tomb of John 'Vulture' Hopkins d 1732. Hopkins was a city financier, who added to his considerable fortune through successful property acquisitions. He was known as the Putney usurer, and was satirised by Alexander Pope in one of his essays:

'When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
A wretch who, living, saved a candle's end'

His fortune (after much delay because he set so many conditions) went to Benjamin Bond-Hopkins d. 1774. Benjamin Bond took his benefactor's name in gratitude and his inheritance enabled him to buy Painshill estate in Surrey.

The Garden of Remembrance

A tithe barn, situated a short distance from the west porch had existed since Georgian times. This was dismantled in 1862 in order to extend the churchyard hence all the later graves can be found adjacent to the field.

As burials are no longer possible in the churchyard except in an established family grave, there is now a Garden of Remembrance where ashes are buried. It is a circular garden and to be found to the north of the church. During 2004, considerable clearance of the churchyard was undertaken as it had become very overgrown. This is being followed up by a replanting scheme particularly around the Garden of Remembrance.