20.1 C
Harrow on the Hill
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeArticlesIn Pictures: The Leighton Family Tomb of St. Mary’s in Harrow

In Pictures: The Leighton Family Tomb of St. Mary’s in Harrow

Take a wander into St. Mary’s churchyard on Harrow on the Hill and follow the path right down to the viewing point and, just next to the steps, you’ll find this unusual tomb dedicated to the Leighton Family. Constructed from granite with broad flat ribs and a colourful mosaic made up of imagery and carved inscriptions, this Grade II listed tomb was built in 1867.

In Pictures: The Leighton Family Tomb of St. Mary’s in Harrow Harrow Online
Image: Nicci Rae

Born in Westminster in September 1822, John Leighton was an extremely talented and successful artist who specialised in designing book covers. John worked largely under the pseudonym of Luke Limner and his noted works include “Our Tom Cat & His Nine Lives” (1849) and “Suggestions In Design”.

During his career, John produced hundreds of drawings for use on book covers, gaining himself an impressive reputation and, in 1863, he was invited to deliver a lecture on Japanese Art at the prestigious seat of learning, The Royal Academy of Arts in London.

John Lieghton married Sarah Baynes and the couple would go on to have seven children – Eleanor, Henry, Alfred, Emma, Selina, Alfred, John and James. The Leighton family tomb was erected in St. Mary’s churchyard on the death of John’s daughter, Emma, in 1867.

In Pictures: The Leighton Family Tomb of St. Mary’s in Harrow Harrow Online
Image: Nicci Rae

The tomb itself is a rectangular structure with intricate mosaic tiles in bright colours and individual plaques for the family members. On top of the tomb is a stone arrow pointing toward the church. Holes and one remaining post on top of the arrow indicate that another structure originally lay on top but what this may have been is unknown.

Another curiosity is the fact that John’s wife, Sarah, does not feature prominently on the tomb. John himself passed away in 1912 at the grand age of 90 and is buried alongside his family in this unusual tomb within the tranquil setting of St. Mary’s churchyard.

Never miss another news story, subscribe to Harrow Online for FREE!