t Mary's Perivale

Historical archive

St Mary 's Church dates back to about 1135, and is a Grade I listed building. The list of rectors extends back to 1337 - the first one drowned in the nearby River Brent ! The church contains several antiquities, including the 'Myllet' brass dating from 1500 and wall memorials from as early as 1623. There is a font from 1490, with a cover dated 1665. Click here to view 100+ old photographs and drawings of this beautiful building, illustrating its history over the past 200 years.

Perivale in the 1920's...

The church is very small, with a capacity of only 70 people, because Perivale was, until modern times, a correspondingly tiny hamlet. In 1881, for example, there were only 34 people living in the parish, although Perivale is only 8 miles from Marble Arch. Until the 1920's, it comprised only 5 farms and associated buildings, as shown in this remarkable early aerial photo, taken before the construction of Western Avenue, the Hoover factory and local housing estates. It served this tiny rural community for over 800 years.

Then around 1930 comes Western Avenue...

Western Avenue, Sanderson's wallpaper factory and the Hoover factory were constructed, and large housing estates built north of Western Avenue. By 1950, the population of Perivale had grown to 10,000, and a new church - St Nicholas - was built in 1965 to serve this community.

However, St Mary's was effectively 'cut off' from most of the population by Western Avenue, as shown in this recent aerial photograph. It was declared redundant in 1972, was vandalized and fell into disrepair. At one time its fate was uncertain, and planning permission was even sought to convert it into an art gallery and studio !

Modern aerial photo of St. Mary's church
The church is bottom centre, surrounded by trees...

The church interior, now restored to its full glory

Decorative letter R

From 1976 onwards it was 'rescued' by Alan Gillett and friends who established a charitable trust, the Friends of St Mary's Perivale. Hugh Mather took over the Chairmanship in 2005, since when the musical programme has been transformed. Now it is an immensely flourishing centre, serving Ealing and West London, with an enviable reputation for first-class classical concerts and other events, and a wide body of support from the local community of Ealing.

View our archive of over 100 full-sized historical images

current pictures inside

current pictures outside

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