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Borough: Wandsworth
St Mary's Churchyard
All Saints' Churchyard 16k
St Mary's Churchyard  
The current church of St Mary's was built in 1777 to replace an earlier building, and was later restored in 1876-78. A church was recorded here from at least the C12th, and the Manor of Battersea from the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 belonged to the Abbey of Westminster.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the manor went first to the King. Between 1627-1763 it belonged to the St John family; Sir John St John gave the church a fine stained glass window, later preserved in the new building. In 1763 the Manor was purchased by Lord Spencer, who was responsible for the development of what was then an isolated village, building a wooden bridge across the Thames in 1772. After this, smart houses began to be built here although it was not until the late 19th century that the village grew, particularly as a result of the construction of the railways.

The area by the river was largely marshland in medieval times until a wall was built and land reclaimed. Afterwards, market gardening became the predominant local industry. Katherine, daughter of a local market gardener, married the poet and painter William Blake in St Mary's Church. J W M Turner is associated with St Mary's, where he used to sit to paint sunsets over the Thames. The old manor house was east of the church but was knocked down by the end of the 18th century. St Mary's has one of the best collections of monuments in South London. There are historic tombs set within the grass of the churchyard as well as gravestones against the boundary walls. Among those buried in the churchyard was William Curtis (d.1799) a well-known botanist who wrote a number of important books, such as one on London's wild plants and an important work on British grasses. A small rose garden of remembrance has been established by the South West London Branch of the Burma Star Association for 'fallen comrades who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Burma Campaign of 1942-45 and to our Branch members who have since passed away'.

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