St. Mary the Virgin, Little Ilford

When I went to St. Mary Magdalene, West Ham recently, I was encouraged to visit St. Mary the Virgin, Little Ilford, another unexpected relic of this part of Essex’s medieval past, when Ilford had a population of ten. Its church was originally Saxon, rebuilt in the twelfth century, with a memorial chapel added to the north in 1724 by John Lethieullier, a Huguenot merchant who made money trading in the Levant. His third son was Smart Lethieullier. He must have inherited enough money not to need to work, instead devoting himself, as did so many of his generation, to the study of antiquities, becoming an FRS in 1724, and FSA in 1725, travelling to Rome following the death of his father in 1737, and corresponding with fellow antiquaries, and publishing articles on local Roman remains, the shrine of St. Hugh at Lincoln, and the Bayeux tapestry.

The church is small, more like a chapel.

This is the chancel end, maybe rebuilt at the same time as the chapel:-

The porch:-

The Waldegrave monument in the chancel, with seven children neatly praying below:-

The Lethieullier chapel:-

And a tomb in the churchyard:-


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