The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Brooks Mausoleum

A tall Sicilian marble monument, square on plan, in the Italian Renaissance style. There are niches in all four sides containing statues of Charity, Fortitude, Industry and Truth. A contemporary description in the Illustrated London News notes that the carved decoration features various plants including cotton, flax, roses, poppies, oak and laurel, all chosen as “illustrative of the commercial and domestic character of the deceased”.

Architect

John Thomas

Listing

Grade II (England and Wales)

Year Built

1851

History

John Brooks (1786-1849) came from a banking family. His brother Samuel having gone into the bank, John set himself up as a calico printer in partnership with a Mr Butterfield, the firm being called Butterfield and Brooks. He was one of the earliest and most active leaders of the Anti-Corn Law movement. It is said that “His mode of speaking, and embodying his speech with facts, was original and forcible, and strikingly characteristic of the blunt plainness and truthfulness of the man”. He died in 1849. Prior to the erection of the monument at Prestwich, the statue of Charity was shown at the Great Exhibition as a fine example of the sculptor’s work.

Condition

Fair. The surrounding railings were removed as part of the war effort and the monument has suffered some vandalism. The acroteria at the apices of the four pediments of the roof were dislodged but are safely stored in the churchyard tool shed. The arm of the statue of Industry was broken off some years ago and has not been recovered (1997).

Sources

BoE: South Lancashire (1969), 367;

Illustrated London News, 20 September, 1851, 379;

B Read, Victorian Sculpture (1982), 188;

Slugg, Annals of Manchester, 251-2;

Manchester Fifty Years Ago, 28-29;

The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, The Industry of All Nations1851, 94-5.

PDF

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Location

Churchyard of St Mary,
Prestwich,
Manchester

M25 1AQ

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