|St John the Baptist Churchyard and Vicarage, Kingston Vale||Kingston|
St John the Baptist Church was built at the top of Kingston Hill in Kingston Vale in 1861, a small church with picturesque bellcote, at that time surrounded largely by fields. The Vicar of Kingston, Revd Samuel Gandy, was instrumental in a number of new churches being built within Kingston parish to provide for the growing population. Due to the proximity to White Lodge in Richmond Park the church had many connections with the royal family and it was here that the future George V's engagement to Mary of Teck was witnessed. Now situated among housing, the church is surrounded by a hedged garden with a number of fine conifers and shrubs, and in the churchyard is a war memorial.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2012
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The first church in the Kingston Vale area was built in 1839, and in 1847 it became a parish. St John the Baptist was built on land donated by the local landowner, the Duke of Cambridge and among those who contributed towards building the church was the Duchess of Gloucester, one of George III's daughters. The foundation stone for the north aisle, added in 1874, was laid by Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, who was living in the White Lodge in Richmond Park. In later years the Duke and Duchess of York, later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, attended St John's when they in residence at White Lodge. The novelist John Galsworthy was baptised here on 15 September 1867; the family lived in a number of properties in Coombe and his father was church warden at St John's.
Shaan Butters 'The Book of Kingston' (Baron, 1995); Tim Everson 'Kingston, Surbiton and Malden' Britain in Old Photographs (Sutton 1995, reprint Budding Books 2000)