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Mortlake Green - - 1276862.jpg
Grid reference: TQ205755
Location: 51°27’56"N, 0°15’51"W
Post town: London
Postcode: SW14
Dialling code: 020
Local Government
Council: Richmond upon Thames
Richmond Park

Mortlake is a town in Surrey within the metropolitan conurbation. It is on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes with East Sheen inland to the south.

Since 1845, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race has had its finish point at Mortlake, marked by the University Boat Race stone just downstream of Chiswick Bridge. Several other important rowing races over the Championship Course also either start or finish at the stone.

The name of is recorded in the Domesday Book as Mortelage, which is thought to mean a "small stream containing moults" (young salmon), referring to a fishery in the area on a former tributary of the River Thames which is now gone.


Mortlake appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Mortelage. It was held by Lanfranc Archbishop of Canterbury. Its Domesday assets were: 25 hides; 1 church, 2 mills worth £5, 1 fishery, 33 ploughs, 20 acres of meadow, wood worth 55 hogs. It rendered £38 plus 4s 4d from 17 houses in London, 2s 3d from houses in Southwark and £1 from tolls at Putney.[1]

The manor belonged to the Archbishops of Canterbury until the time of Henry VIII, when it passed by exchange to the Crown. From the early part of the 17th century until after the civil wars, Mortlake was celebrated for the manufacture of tapestry, founded during the reign of James I-VI at the Mortlake Tapestry Works.

Mortlake's most famous former resident was Elizabeth I's adviser, John Dee. The cemetery of St Mary Magdalene's Church in Mortlake contains the tomb of Sir Richard Burton, and the ashes of comic-magician Tommy Cooper are interred at Mortlake Crematorium.[2]

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