This extraordinary Greek Doric temple stands at the brow of a hill where it can be seen for miles around. The mausoleum, which occupies the crossing, transepts and chancel, was reached via the grand portico at the east end of the building, while those who worshiped in the church in the nave entered the building through the west door. The monuments of the Duke and Duchess are in the south transept.
The splendid memorial to the Duchess carved by Richard Westmacott, but partially conceived by the Duke, has a statue of Georgiana reclining on a bed with her baby twins and, on the wall behind, a relief of Anna Maria, in the form of an angel, coming down to welcome her mother and brothers up into heaven. The burial vault (now sealed) lies under the nave. It has a central passage with 32 loculi to either side, of which only 14 are occupied.
Sir Robert Smirke
Grade I (England and Wales)
The church and mausoleum were built by Henry Pelham, 4th Duke of Newcastle (1785-1851) in memory of his wife, Georgiana (1789-1822) to whom he was devoted. The couple were married in 1807 and from then on Georgiana had a baby almost every year. At the beginning of 1822 they had eleven children and Georgiana, much to her husband’s anxiety, was in failing health. In May that year their eldest daughter, Anna Maria (1808-1822) fell ill and died. Four months later Georgiana gave birth to twins, one stillborn and the other seemingly healthy. Although at first all seemed well, both she and her baby son died soon afterwards.
In 1833, when the new church at Milton was finished, it became the parish church, replacing the old one at West Markham. This situation was reversed, however, in 1949 when All Saints, West Markham, was reinstated as the parish church, and the Duke’s mausoleum was left to decay. Milton Church, now simply a mausoleum, was finally rescued in 1972 when the Churches Conservation Trust took it into guardianship.
Fair. The internal stonework is deteriorating (2002).
BoE: Notts (1976), 376;
H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (1995) 879 and Architecture and the After-Life (1991) 351;
Shell Guide: Notts (1984), 106-8; Janet Roberts, Georgiana 4th Duchess of Newcastle (2000);
John Fletcher, ed, Where Truth Abides: Diaries of the 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme 1822-1850 [nd].
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