The church is a classical building by Thomas Hardwick. It was built to form a dignified eyecatcher for one of the three great avenues radiating from Wanstead House. Of particular interest is the memorial to Joseph Wilton RA and his family of 1803 in the form of a Watcher's Box, from which watch was kept to forestall body snatchers, and which resembles the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The churchyard contains a collection of early-19th century and Victorian monuments, headstones and chest tombs; the railings and gates date from around 1790 and trees include notable yew, holly, cedar, oak and lime. Although no longer open for burials, St. Mary's has a memorial garden where ashes can be buried.
St Mary's Wanstead has a late mediaeval churchyard, which was reconfigured in around 1788-90 when the present church was built. The earlier church had stood near to the Wilton tomb. The churchyard was extended in 1906 and 1924.
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsOpening is unrestricted.
DirectionsTube: Wanstead (Central). Bus: 66, 101, 145, 308, 551, W12, W13, W14 (then walk)
- 18th Century
- Late 18th Century
Church of England, Wanstead Parish
London Parks and Gardens Trust