The Maiden's Tomb
This colourful term is applied to the chest tomb of Elizabeth Colleton, who died in 1721. Far from being a ‘maiden', Elizabeth Colleton was the mistress of Richard Savage, the Earl Rivers, and the widow of a Cornish baronet who she had married in Barbados. She lived at The Grove, Ealing, and when her lover died, he left his fortune to her rather than to his wife and daughter. She is reputed to have cried out that, if there was a just God, trees would grow out of her tomb, and this is what actually happened. By the late 1800s the tomb had collapsed, with trees and shrubs bursting outwards, displacing the stone and ironwork. It was subsequently described as ‘most picturesque and… not to be equalled by any other tomb in England.' The tomb was rebuilt in 1998, with the help of local architect Adrian Cave, and has been awarded Grade II status as an exceptional example of an 18th century chest tomb. The ash tree growing out of the tomb and encasing a length of railing fell down in 2007 and part of it has been used to form a cross by Gordon Cookson, a local crafsman, This now on a nave window.