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Southwick, St Mary

Southwick, St Mary

The tower is well buttressed and unusually decorated. The first is accounted for by the susceptibility of the earth to subside on account of the Romans extracting iron stone from the vicinity. The latter from the patronage of Sir John Knyvet, Lord Chancellor to Edward lll who owned the estate here and whose family commenced the building of adjacent Southwick Hall

The tower itself contains three shields on the north front showing the arms of Knyvet, on the south those of the Bassett family, both coming together on the west front. They record the marriage of Sir John to Elizabeth Bassett in 1381. High above the spire is decorated with crockets and unusual lucarnes (gabled openings).

Before indulging in Roubilliac’s masterpiece, take time to look at the small brass tablet set into the floor to the right of the altar. This may not look much but this is to Anthony Cade who was chaplain and tutor to the children of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of James I and Charles I. He must have been at the epicentre of British cultural and political life up until the Dukes’ assassination in 1629. He is commemorated here as his daughter Grace married John Lynn of Southwick.

Now to the great tomb erected to the memory of George Lynn who died in 1758. It would have been erected here in the especially designed architectural niche created for it in the chancel in the 1760s. In black and white marble with fulsome inscription in the lower part, it takes the form of a flattened obelisk with Lynn’s coat of arms at its head. His image in a medallion portrait hangs from a ribbon loosely dropping from the obelisk set against a baroque flourish of drapery. To the right the seated figure of his wife gazes up at the portrait, her right hand resting on a funerary urn. She is dressed in contemporary costume, all is still and serious except for her shoe, which simply dangles from her foot. The whole is still fenced off by a wrought iron surround.

The intimacy of the couple is commemorated in the following verse: This marble raised – see where the mourning Fair Amidst her griefs breathes forth this fervent prayer When next we meet may our past bliss improve By holy raptures on mysterious love.

The tomb was supplied by Roubilliac in 1762 at a cost of £500. The sculptor had been born in Lyons in 1705 and was trained under Permoser, in Dresden and Coustou in Paris. He came to England about 1732 and made his name with the famous statue of Handel in Vauxhall Gardens. Thereafter he became one of the most sought after artists in England and his monuments include Duke of Argyll, Field Marshall Wade and General Fleming in Westminster Abbey. On the floor in the chancel are large well inscribed memorials to further members of the Lynn family including Ann Lynn herself who died in 1767. As you will see she was the daughter of Sir Edward Bellamy, some time Lord Mayor of London.

Please refer to the Glossary for any terms in the text that you are unfamiliar with.

Contact & Opening Times

Southwick, Peterborough, Northamptonshire, PE8 5BL|
[email protected]|

Opening Times


The church is normally open, see below for contact details.


Contact Details


If assistance is required please contact:

Rosemary Coates – 01832 274589

Sue Cartwright – 01832 274193

Rev. Hindle – 01832 281512

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