Stop 13: St Mary's Church

Drawing of St Marys 1860
An early drawing of the church

A simple village Roman Catholic church built in 1854 on land donated by Henry Bowden, owner of Coopers. It was the focus of a funeral for the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France in 1873, following which a large and elaborate Mortuary Chapel was built to house his tomb. Six years later his son, killed in the Zulu wars, was also buried here. (See a report of his funeral here...)

The chapel remains, though the remains of her husband and son were taken by Empress Eugenie to St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough Hampshire, after she was refused permission to extend the Chapel here.

Look for the headstone of the daughter of Kitty O'Shea (below). Kitty had an affair with Charles Parnell, leader of the Irish Home Rule Movement. The disclosure of the affair ruined him, and put back Irish Home Rule for a generation.
Return to the top of Hawkwood Lane and turn right

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