Tombstones #5: mausolea

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According to the Mausolea and Monuments Trust (UK) a Mausoleum is:

A mausoleum is a house of the dead. Larger than tombs, these buildings are free-standing roofed structures erected to receive coffins. They take their name from one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, the vast tomb of King Mausolus of Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. Most British mausolea date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Symbols of dynastivc pride, pious respect and love, they stand in their hundreds in churchyards, cemeteries and parks. Many of Britain’s finest architects were involved in their design. Neo-classical, Egyptian or Gothic, they form a varied, emotionally charged, and irreplaceable part of the built heritage….

…   In law they belong to those that built them, but in many cases the families have died out or lost interest.   Parish councils, local authorities and cemetery companies must ensure the buildings do not become dangerous, but are not responsible for their upkeep. So, as private monuments in the public domain, they fall outside the normal patterns of care.

 I’ve seen, noticed, very few mausolea in English graveyards,   they are the exceptional grave style reserved for the Wealthy or well respected.   Thier predominance in the 18th and 19th century maps to the new wealth and changing lifestyles that came with the Industrial Revolution.  

In the many, mainly village,  graveyards that I visited during the Tea and Tombstone Tour I noticed only these 2 Mausolea.   Decaying,   broken,   headless gargoyles,  rotting wooden doors,  in the Trowbridge cemetery


Tombstones #5: mausolea
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