Stuart Cawthorne

ISBN: 978-1-8384510-1-1

Published: 2022

234mm x 156mm


272 pages

Three hundred metres from Canons Park tube station in the outer London suburbs is an unlikely place to find a stunning baroque interior. Here, the church of St Lawrence Little Stanmore attracts visitors from near and far to see the paintings and the mausoleum created for the Duke of Chandos. The Duke’s association with the church lasted little more than thirty years but his life and times remain the focus of interest in the building almost to the exclusion of others before or since. This book aims to remedy this deficiency. It takes a guided tour through all the memorials in the church and reveals a varied group of people commemorated here. They include a bookseller, a musical clockmaker, a lady who wrote a popular travelogue about the journey from India to England, a maker of wood planes, and the first European woman to climb Mount Fuji. Their biographical sketches feed into a historical narrative that follows the transformation of a little country church on the boundary of a ducal estate to today’s church serving a diverse urban community.

Stuart Cawthorne has been a member of the congregation at St Lawrence Whitchurch for 35 years, ever since he and his wife moved to Edgware. He is one of the church guides and is the treasurer of the Friends of St Lawrence, a charity that was established to raise funds for the preservation of the church fabric and paintings. When he is not researching local history, he can be found keeping the accounts for other voluntary organisations and playing the saxophone in local rehearsal bands.