Southwark & surrounds Roman Catholic Churches & Cemeteries 1850-1930

The following probably refers to Bermondsey life 1920-1939. " Each summer Bermondsey held a Catholic procession, attended by the local children who attended the Catholic schools at Dockhead, Melior Street & All Saints in Tooley St.[this just a girls school I think]. the whole event was a wonderful spectacle consisting of the various guilds, bands & tableaux on carts.Hymns were sung as the bands played the procession through the streets on a Sunday afternoon. In the evening children would follow the priest who blessed homes which had been put altars outside, attesting to their faith" [Bermondsey & Rotherhithe remembered]

Holy Trinity Dockhead

doc2 .doc2 1907 photo

Built in 1851. A V2 landed in Parkers Row in the evening of 3/3/1945 opposite the RC church. Buildings near the explosion were demolished and there was severe blast damage for 500 yds around. The church & the priests' house adjoining were very close to the blast. 3 priests were killed and a fourth recued with difficulty, his rescuer receiving the George Cross.

Contains the following records:

Baptisms of 4 of the children of Timothy Lyons and Catherine Coughlan :

Mary Lyons, b: 24/2/1866, baptised 25/2/ 1866, Dockhead. Godparents: Stephen Lyons and Mary Cahalan.            .                                                                     

Catherine Lyons, born 20/7/1873, baptised 3/8/1873, Dockhead. Godparents: James Murray and Margaret Collins. .               .    

Bridget Lyons, born 12/4/1875, baptised 2/5/1875, Dockhead. Godparents Daniel and Mary Kane                                           

Anne Lyons, born 23/10/1877, baptised 11/11/1877, Dockhead. Godparents Henry Denny and Elizabeth O’Brien


Our Lady of Salette and St Joseph. Melior Street

Originated from St.George's .In 1847,a father Robert Hodgson hired an old coach house in this area for mass. Such crowds came on Sundays that he next rented from Guy's Hospital an old dissecting room in Webb Streeet,after clearing away "nearly two cartloads of human bones" and also rats. This building had a chapel ,dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Patrick, upstairs and a school downstairs and was solemnly opened by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman on 20/3/1848. The chapel proving inadequate to accommodate more than a fifth of the congregation, it was replaced by the present church,opened on 2nd May 1861.

The first Catholic Mission at London Bridge - A new site for a church had to be found before Webb Street and its chapel were overtaken by the enlargement of the railway station. The church in Melior Street, a few yards away, was opened on the second of May 1861, and dedicated to Our Lady of La Salette and Saint Joseph.

I met the priest there in 2009 and he was most helpful: Thankyou Canon Cooley

Marriages there only start from 1856.

Ancestors who were baptised here: likely Timothy Lyons in 1852 but a gap in the records for this time period, Mary Ann Lyons 1855, Stephen Lyons 1859, Elizabeth Lyons 1864

                              Cornelius Lyons born 7/11/1869 baptised at Our Lady of Salette to Timothy Lyons and Catherine Coughlan . Godparents : Timothy Crowley & Ellen Hart. 

None of David Sullivan's children 1856-1865 were baptised there.                    .  


oula . ..olad

mel .our lady church

Position of Melior Street shown on left of map. at same level as the St.Olave Union infirmary. Dockhead is off to the east and St. Georges down to the south.

St.Georges Roman Catholic Cathedral , Lambeth Road, Southwark, London SE1.

St Georges rcc  Southwark
Mass was said in Southwark from at least 1767. Chapel opened 1793 in London Road. Cathedral opened 1848. It was designed by Pugin and he was the first person to be married in the cathedral on 10 August 1848 to his third wife Jane.

st georges RC cathedral

This is where David Tobin married Margaret Buckley, 4/10/1852. None of their children were baptised there, but the first 3 were baptised at Our Lady of Salette.

St.Georges Roman Catholic Church Southwark .Interior of St.georges Catholic Church Southwark

Photos taken 2008.   

2 children of Timothy Lyons and Catherine Coughlan were baptised here:

Timothy Lyons b.24/07/1867, Union Workhouse, bapt 17/10/67, St. Georges RCC.      Godparents  Patrick Lyons & Joanna Warren                                               .   

Jeremiah Lyons born 28/1/1872 , baptised 15/2/1872 , St. Georges RCC- god parent Joanna Warren ; this Joanna Warren  who was godparent in 1867 & 1872 cannot be found 1871 C, b. between 1800 & 1854, but there is a 25 year old Hannah Warren          

 Widowed Catherine Lyons/Coughlan married 14-04-1879 Jeremiah(?) Hurley of 22, Redcross Street, Borough. the son of John Hurley, & Catherine Lyons of 12, Slades Court, Borough the daughter of Daniel Coughlan and widow of Timothy Lyons. Witnesses; John D--orau of 2 Ship Yard, Tooley Street[ this is where she was living in 1871C] ,and Julia Taylor, 10, Stephens Square, Kent Street. Rev. J.C. Moore Ref. B11 -43.     

The following Sullivan Children were baptised here:

1831.Ann Sullivan Born 26-7-1831 Baptised 21-8-1831 Ann daughter of David & Ann Sullivan (Walsh).  God parents William Walsh & Ann Doyle.  Rev. J. Radford.  Ref. 509 - 1831

1834 John Sullivan Born 12-7-1834 baptised 3-8-1834  John son of David & Ann Sullivan (Walsh).  God parents James Walsh & Margaret Downey.  Rev. J. White.  Ref 2456-1834

1850.Joseph Pious Nicholas Sullivan Born 25-12-1850 baptised 2-9-1851 Joseph Pious Nicholas son of Joseph & Emma Sullivan (Smither) God parent Ann Teresa Sullivan. Rev. J. Cotter.Ref. 78-1851

1852.Arthur James Melbourne Sullivan Born 14-9-1852 baptised 21-11-1852 Arthur James Melbourne son of Joseph & Emma Sullivan (Smither) God parents. Jeremiah Cotter & Ellen Sullivan.  Rev. J. Danell  Ref. 191 - 1852.

1853. Jane Ann Sullivan Born 25-2-1853 baptised 21-6-1853 Jane Ann daughter of David & Jane Sullivan (Richards) God parent Annie Sullivan.  Rev. J. Danell.  Ref. 234-1853

1854. John Sullivan. Born 19-12-1854 baptised 15-4-1855 John son of David & Jane Sullivan (Richards) God parents. Joseph Sullivan & Ann Teresa Sullivan.  Rev. J. Danell Ref. 118-1854.

Bernard Cullen was the Sacristan there in 2009 and was really helpful looking up Lyons and Tobin records. he is helping me again in 2012. Thankyou Bernard


Sacred Heart , Knatchbull road, Lambeth

Timothy Lyons and Elizabeth Tobin married here in 1876.

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The original church , with the address of Camberwell New Road?, was destroyed in WW2 and a new one erected.

JL and I visited the church, meeting secretary Clara, in 2008 and found the 1876 marriage entry, but no baptisms for their children 1878,1880, 1882, 1885, 1888 & 1891. We did not look up any other Lyons or Tobin events there.

JL received a letter from Fr David Gibbons in 2008 confirming that the previous church was indeed destroyed during WW2 and that they have no records - photographs, drawings, etc. of it.

sacredheartcamberwell .sacredheart camberwell .


The Church of the English Martyrs , Rodney Road, Walworth.

School chapel opened in Northampton Place 1890. Present church opened 1904?. The blessing of the new Church bells in 1903 was reported on a New Zealand newspaper!!- see article below.

This is where William Lyons worshipped with his 7 children and where they were all baptised 1910-1925. Also his parents, Timothy & Elizabeth Lyons, had their funeral services here in 1923 & 1924. The children remembered praying for the souls of Timothy & Elizabeth. JL and I visited it in 2008 and got copies of the baptisms of all 7 children of William John and Jessie Lyons, 1910-1925, and of the burials of Timothy 1923 & Elizabeth 1924.: these images all on relevant pages. Did we search for any older records?


Church -of-the-englis-martyrs-walworth .Church of English martyrs1 .churchof english martyrs2

2008 photos of the Church of the English Martyrs ,Walworth

english martyrs walworth bells .

An interesting Google find , dating from 1903, reported in NZ!

Our Lady of Sorrows, Peckham

Near Pepler Road where Timothy Lyons ,Elizabeth & family were living in 1882 and 1883. Was Lilian Margaret Lyons baptised here in 1882 and were Stephen Lyons 5 and Margaret Lyons 1 buried from here in October 1883, having died on concecutive days of scarlet fever. Sent email Dec 2009 and another April 2010 asking if they were - the answer, from Anthony Plummer, was that there was no mention of them.

Most Precious Blood R C Church - other side of Guy's to Our Lady.

Most Precious Blood R.C. Church
22 Redcross Way, Borough, London SE1 1TA - England, UK
Phone: +44 (0)20 7407 3951  -  Fax: +44 (0)20 7407 0201
// // //
E-mail Most Precious Blood R.C. Church  -  Most Precious Blood R.C. Church Web site
Bishop Butt founded The Parish of the Most Precious Blood in Borough in 1891, thanks to a £10,000 donation from one of his late friends. The church’s exterior was recently renovated, and the interior is noted for its impressive baldacchino. The interior is also noteworthy for the Station of the Cross; which were made in Belgium and were carried from the docks by the parishioners. The church also contains a small library of religious books.


Leytonstone Catholic Cemetery.

Opened 11/5/1861. First Lyons burials we have found there are Dec 1874. Resting place for John[spina bifida- son of Timothy & Catherine] 1862- Dec 1874, Timothy 1834-11/3/1878, Stephen & Margaret, children of Timothy 1852, in 1883, Stephen 1827- Feb1890 , John blind 1833-1894, Timothy 1852- Dec1923, Elizabeth nee Tobin 1854 -Mar1924, Stephen, son of Stephen, 1859-1917.

Also for David Tobin 1831-1880 and his wife Margaret Tobin 1831-1877 . And for Elizabeth Amos nee Lyons 1864-1940.


Burials not found for Honorah 25/6/1870 & Mary Ann 1855-21/9/1874 & Timothy's daughter Anne 1877-Mar 1878. Were these in Dockhead?? Most records destroyed in WW2 - have asked for Honorah and no record.

Also - confirmed April 2012 - no burials for Hannah Sullivan 1922, John Sullivan 1892, Helen Blackmore[Lyons] 1969, Josie Collins[Lyons] 1968 or Irene Collins 1922..



View of modern cemetery 2010

leytonstone-cem. leytonstone-cem2.

Photos taken ~1980.

leytonstone-cemetery-2010 .leytonstone-chapel

Photos taken 2010 of the cemetery and its chapel

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery. Resting place for Catherine Lyons/Buckley 1827 - 1902. It is located at Kensal Green in London. Established in 1858, the 29 acre (120,000 m²) site was built just up the hill from the much larger Kensal Green Cemetery. It is the final resting place for more than 165,000 individuals of the Roman Catholic faith and features a memorial to Belgian soldiers of the First World War who were wounded in combat and evacuated to England but died there in hospital.

kensal-rise-catholic-cemetery .kensal-rise-chapel

Photos taken 2010 of St. Mary's RC Cemetery and its chapel.

JL visited St. Mary's in 2011 and found the following:

Buried at St Marys
John Lyons, aged 53 died 16.1.57
Honorah Lyons aged 76, died 25.6.74
Mary Ann Lyons aged 22 died 29.3.75
But none of these are connected to us
Also enquired of :
Timothy Lyons died 1878
Michael Lyons died 1915
Elizabeth Allen died 1955
Mary Jos Collins died 1969
Helen Blackmore died 1971
No record of the above


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