An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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'Willesden', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex( London, 1937), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/middx/pp132-135 [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Willesden', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex( London, 1937), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/middx/pp132-135.

"Willesden". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. (London, 1937), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/middx/pp132-135.

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)XI, S.W. (b)XVI, N.W.)

Willesden is a parish adjoining the county of London on the N.W. The parish church is the principal monument.


b(1) Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 178) stands in the W. part of the parish. The walls are mainly of ragstone rubble with a little flint; the dressings are of Reigate and other freestone and the roofs are covered with tiles. The font is evidence of the existence of a church here late in the 12th century and remains of a narrow Norman window are said to have been found in the N. wall when it was destroyed for the addition of the aisle in 1872. The earliest part of the structure now standing is the S. arcade of the Nave which dates from about the middle of the 13th century. An undated document in St. Paul's Cathedral archives refers to the ruinous condition of the chancel and has been assigned to the end of the 14th century; probably as a result the Chancel was re-built c. 1400 and about the same time the S.W. Tower was added; in adding the tower the W. bay of the arcade was reduced in width and the W. respond re-built. Early in the 16th century the South Chapel was added, the chancel-arch re-built and the outer wall of the South Aisle probably re-built; at the same time the E. bay of the S. arcade was widened and the E. respond re-built. A 13th-century column said to have been found imbedded in the N. wall in 1872 and re-erected in the modern N. arcade may indicate the existence of a mediæval N. aisle, built up at a later date. A S. porch was perhaps added in the 17th century. The church was restored in 1851–2, when the nave was extended towards the W. In 1872 the North Aisle, Vestry and Organ Chamber were added and the South Porch re-built; in 1893 the chancel roof was re-built and in 1916 the S. chapel was restored.

The church is of no great architectural interest but among the fittings the font and communion-table are noteworthy. In the Middle Ages the church contained a celebrated image of Our Lady of Willesden. Charles Reade is buried in the churchyard.

Architectural Description—the Chancel (38 ft. by 20¼ ft.) has E., N. and S. windows all modern externally but reproducing the lines of the earlier windows and all of early 15th-century character. Further W. in the N. wall are a modern doorway and opening into the organ-chamber. W. of the S. window there appears to have been a low-side window (shown in old views), now destroyed and the wall patched; further W. is an early 16th-century arch, two-centred and of two moulded orders springing from half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and damaged or repaired bases. The early 16th-century chancel-arch is four-centred and of similar detail to the arch just described; the N. respond has a moulded base but there is no base on the S.

The Nave (62 ft. by 19¾ ft.) has a modern N. arcade of which the westernmost pier is a 13th-century cylindrical column, said to have been found in the old N. wall and reconstructed; it has a moulded base. The mid 13th-century S. arcade is of three bays, of which the middle arch is in its original state; it is two centred and of two chamfered orders and rests on cylindrical columns with moulded capitals and bases; the E. arch has been widened and is now nearly semi-circular; the W. half is mainly original but the E. half is of old material re-set and springs from an early 16th-century E. respond, similar to the responds of the chancel-arch and without a base; the W. arch was reduced in width when the tower was added; the E. half is original and the W. half of old materials re-set; the late 14th or early 15th-century respond is of semi-cylindrical form and has a moulded capital like those in the tower; W. of the arcade is the arch to the tower and further W. a small modern window. In the W. wall is a modern window with a modern doorway below it.

Willesden - Parish Church of St. Mary

The South Chapel (18¾ ft. by 11¼ ft.) now called St. Katherine's Chapel is of early 16th-century date and has a completely restored E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head. In the S. wall is a similar window, but of two lights and also completely restored.

The South Aisle (11¼ ft. wide) has in the S. wall a completely restored window similar to the S. window in the S. chapel; the S. doorway is modern.

The South-West Tower (9¾ ft. square) is of early 15th-century date and of three stages, undivided externally and finished with a restored embattled parapet. The ground stage has in the E. and N. walls a two-centred archway of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall is a modern single-light window. The second stage has in the S. and W. walls a completely restored window of one trefoiled light. Above the S. window is fixed a sundial dated 1732. The bell-chamber has in each wall a completely restored window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head.

The Roofs are all modern, but preserved in the Public Library is a carved foliated boss from the former 15th-century roof of the nave.

Fittings—Altar: In pavement of nave—long marble slab 7 ft. 1 in. by 2 ft. 2 in., possibly altar-slab but without any trace of consecration-crosses. Bells: eight and sanctus; sanctus dated 1696. Brasses and Indent. Brasses: In chancel—(1) of [Bartholomew Willesden, comptroller of the great roll of the Pipe, 1492, and Margaret and Margaret his wives] figures of man in civil dress and one wife; figures of the other wife, four daughters and inscription lost; (2) of Margaret Roberts, daughter of Robert Fyncham, [1505], figure of woman and mutilated inscription, figures of three sons and three daughters lost; (3) of Willim Lichefeld, LL.D., vicar and residentiary of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1517, figure of priest in cope and doctor's cap; (4) of Edmunde Roberts, 1585, and Frauncys (Welles) and Fayth (Patenson) his wives, figures of man in armour, two wives, two sons and four daughters by the first wife and two sons and one daughter by the second wife, three shields-of-arms; (5) of Jane, wife of John Barne, 1609, and her daughters, Mary, wife of Francis Roberts and Elizabeth, wife of Edward Altham, figures of woman and one daughter and two shields-of-arms. In nave—on S. wall, (6) kneeling figure of woman in French cap with two sons and four daughters on the same plate, mid 16th-century. Indent: In nave—defaced. Communion Table (Plate 24): In chancel—with bulbous legs, Ionic capitals and pedestals with carved leaves, moulded lower rails and fluted and carved top rails, framed table-top, late 16th-century. Door (Plate 20): In S. porch—in outer archway, framed and boarded door panelled on the outer face in four cinquefoil-headed panels with intersecting tracery in the two-centred head, late 14th-century, heavily painted and partly repaired. Font (Plate 10): Under tower—square tapering bowl with ornament of simple panels and semi-circles and range of six small shafts in low relief on W. face; simple foliage in spandrels of top surface; large central and four subsidiary shafts, former with moulded capping and latter with simple leaf-capitals, bases repaired in cement, Purbeck marble, late 12th-century. Locker: In S. chapel—in N. wall, rectangular recess fitted with modern frame and door. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel —on E. wall, (1) of Richard Paine, J.P., gentleman pensioner of five princes, 1606, and Margerie, his wife, 1595–6, coloured alabaster and marble wall-monument (Plate 174) with double arched recess, kneeling figures of man in armour and wife at prayer-desk, carved Ionic side-pilasters, entablature and cresting with achievement and two shields-of-arms; (2) to Sir John Francklyn, M.P., 1647–8, monument erected by Elizabeth (Purefoy), his wife, black and white marble tablet with oval inscription-panel, Ionic columns, scrolled and broken pediment, achievement and shield-of-arms; on N. wall, (3) to John Barne, J.P., 1615, plain stone and marble tablet with side-pilasters, cornice and achievement-of-arms; (4) to Francis Roberts, 1631, alabaster and marble tablet with Corinthian side-columns, pediment, achievement and shield-of-arms; on S. wall, (5) to Richard Francklyn, 1615, alabaster and marble tablet with side-pilasters, entablature and achievement-of-arms. In S. chapel—in S. wall, (6) recess of freestone with moulded jambs and four-centred arch, embattled cornice with square pateræ, base or tomb with chamfered top and one pointed and four quatre-foiled panels in front, early 16th-century. On outer face of S. wall of S. aisle—(7) to . . . nne, betrothed to [Doro]thy, daughter of Thomas Roberts (?), 152..., plain inscribed slab. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Sarah, wife of Sir William Roberts, Bart., 1682, also to her husband, 1687–8, with achievement-of-arms; (2) to William Roberts, 1700, also to William his infant son, 1700, with achievement-of-arms; (3) to Sir William . . ., 16..., part covered by flooring. In nave—(4) to Mary (Barne), wife of Frauncis Roberts, 1623–4; (5) to Elizabeth (Pawlet-t), wife of Francis Brende, 1666–7, and their two children Thomas and Elizabeth. Piscinæ: In chancel—shallow recess with cinque-foiled arch in square head, shelf, no drain, sill probably modern and rest partly retooled, early 16th-century. In S. chapel—in S. wall, recess with moulded jambs and broken cinque-foiled arch in a square head, round drain with modern projecting front, early 16th-century. Plate: includes a cup (Plate 52) of 1606 with baluster stem and scrolled foliage and flowers on bowl, and a late 17th-century rat-tailed spoon. Table: In N. aisle—with turned legs and carved top-rail, early 17th-century, top modern.



a(2) The Grove, house on the E. side of the road at Neasden 1,060 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The main block of the house was built early in the 18th century and has later or modern additions on the N. and S. The W. front is symmetrically designed, with a brick band between the storeys and a modillioned eaves-cornice; the windows have flush frames and the central doorway is flanked by panelled pilasters with carved and scrolled brackets supporting a flat hood; this has added posts in front and has been formed into a porch. The back has an eaves-cornice similar to the front and some original windows. Inside the building the hall and study have original panelling with dado-rail and cornice. The hall has an original fireplace with a panelled marble surround and the archway to the staircase has panelled pilasters and a key-block. The staircase has cut strings with brackets and twisted balusters.


a(3) The Grange, house 40 yards N. of (2), is of two storeys, the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1700 and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.W. and S.E. The house has a plain wooden eaves-cornice and inside it is a staircase with an original moulded newel. There are said to be a number of wells on the property and an octagonal building of uncertain date is said to have been built as a well-house.


a(4) The Cottage, house on the W. side of the road 40 yards N.W. of (3), is of two storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The S. part of the house was built perhaps early in the 18th century but it has been extensively altered and added to.


a(5) Willesden Paddocks, house on the S. side of the cross-roads, 1½ m. N.E. of St. Mary's Church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built perhaps early in the 18th century and is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S. end. It has been extensively altered in later and modern times.


a(6) Old Oxgate Farm, house 100 yards N.W. of (5), is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber framed and plastered and the roofs are tiled. The N. wing probably formed part of a larger 16th-century house, the rest of which was replaced by the existing S. block in the 17th century. Inside the original wing the front room has exposed original ceiling-beams and a moulded main beam; the upper storey originally projected at the E. end but has been under-built. In the back part of the wing is a 17th-century moulded bracket under the ceiling-beam. The roof of this wing is original and has curved wind-braces.

Condition—Fairly good.

59 WOOD GREEN (D.b.)

No monuments known.