Hidden within St. Mary Magdalen's churchyard in Mortlake, is an impressive mausoleum in the shape of an Arab tent. Inside this tomb, and visible through a window at the rear, are the coffins of Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel Arundell.
Sir Richard Burton (not to be mistaken for the actor of the same name), was a nineteenth century explorer, writer and translator. During his lifetime he became well known for his adventures around the little-known Arab world in Africa and Asia. Richard married Isabel in 1861, and when he died in 1890, she built this mausoleum and paid for the church's stained glass window.
It may seem a little morbid - or intrusive even - to climb a metal ladder to look at a couple of centuries-old coffins, but anyone with a fascination for history will find it an interesting thing to do. The churchyard is a serene spot in the middle of Mortlake - you could also take a wander inside the beautiful church of St Mary Magdalen at the same time.
For more information about Sir Richard Burton visit the church's website, or the BBC's page. St Mary Magdalen Church is located at 61 North Worple Way, which is about a 5 minute walk from Mortlake train station.