Ghostly remains: the Howard Chapel at Lambeth

Lisa.Ford | October 29, 2012


Dr. Ford in the Garden Museum cafe

While tracking the remains of the Howard tombs, one sometimes encounters nothing more than just a hint of the glories that once existed. If you visit the Museum of Garden History, housed in the former parish church of St. Mary’s at Lambeth Palace you probably won’t realize that you’re walking amongst Howard history unless you know the significance of the strange indents in two of the stone blocks in the walls behind the  counter of the Garden Museum’s cafe.


On the right hand side by the entrance, just over my left shoulder and behind the tea cups, you can just see the indent that once held the brass of a Katherine Howard, currently identified as Lady Effingham; when standing at that same spot you can also see, on the left hand wall behind the counter, and barely visible behind an appliance, the indent of part of the brass of Thomas Clere, squire to, and relative of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

The indent from the Clere brass

Both brasses are still at Lambeth, but kept elsewhere now. Within this chapel, built by the 2nd Duke, and which served as a resting place for several members of the Howard family including his second wife Agnes Tilney, only these shadowy reminders speak of a great family’s memorials. Where there once were table tombs and brasses, now there are simply tables where people enjoy salads, cakes and tea…dining with the Howards, as it were, but not in a style they would ever have envisioned!


  1. Interesting use of the room. Are there any online virtual tours of the building available? With such a history, it must be a beautiful place.

    Comment by Mary Jo Gibson — November 8, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  2. […] in January 1542 but was eventually pardoned in May 1542. After her death she was buried in the Howard chapel at Lambeth Parish church were she had made arrangements for a tomb and where, since the dissolution […]

    Pingback by What about the women? | Representing Re-Formation — March 8, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment