Ghostly remains: the Howard Chapel at Lambeth
Lisa.Ford | October 29, 2012
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.
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!