Eltham was an old settlement recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, and there may have been a Roman settlement here earlier. There has been a church on the site from Saxon times, rebuilt in the late 17th century with a wooden tower and shingle spire. The present church was built in 1872-5, and contains the remains of a sarcophagus from the original C12th church. Eltham became a suburb when the railways arrived and the area was developed. The churchyard is on an oblong site surrounded with a brick wall. Among the monuments in the churchyard is a red granite memorial to J T North and the family vault of Sir William James (d.1783), whose widow, Lady James built Severndroog Castle on Shooters Hill after his death. Among those buried here is Thomas Doggett, a comedian and also founder of the Thames Watermen's annual rowing race.