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The Tomb of Sir Richard Burton

Home > London > Churches | Free | Memorials | Places of Interest | Places of Worship
by Sue Lancaster (subscribe)
I live and work in west London and enjoy writing as a hobby. Visit my blog at sequinsue.wordpress.com/
Published July 25th 2014
A little piece of history in South-West London
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.

The tomb of Sir Richard Burton
The tomb of Sir Richard Burton


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.


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Why? An interesting thing to see
When: The church is open on Monday to Saturday (except Thursday) from 09.00 to 17.00, and on Sunday from 09.00 to 19.30. The church is closed on Thursdays.
Phone: 020 8876 1326
Where: 61 North Worple Way, Mortlake London SW14 8PR
Cost: Free
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