The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Turner Mausoleum, Kirkleatham

The mausoleum is an octagonal stone structure with diagonal buttresses and a stumpy two-tiered spire surmounted by a flaming urn. It is attached to the north side of the chancel. Its external appearance is enlivened by the variety of ways in which the stonework is treated. The plinth is constructed of stone rubble, the next stage is striped with alternate courses of ashlar and vermiculated rustication and, above that, the smooth face of the top stage is pierced by bulls-eye windows.

Inside, the plaster is grooved to simulate ashlar. Three of the niches in the wall contain statues. They commemorate Marwood William Turner (1740-2 by Peter Scheemakers), Cholmley Turner (1761 by Sir Henry Cheere) and Sir Charles Turner (1810 by Richard Westmacott). In the centre of the chamber stands the marble and slate chest tomb of Sir William Turner (d.1692). The burial chamber underneath, reached via a stairway from the church (now sealed), has an umbrella vault with a boss inscribed ‘1739’ and contains five stone coffin-benches.


James Gibbs


Grade I (England and Wales)

Year Built



The mausoleum was built for Cholmley Turner of Kirkleatham Hall (now demolished), in memory of his son, Marwood Turner, who had died at the age of twenty one in Lyons while making the Grand Tour. Colvin suggests that its striking design is based on that of a reconstruction of an Egyptian pyramid in Fischer von Erlach’s Entwurff einer Historischen Architectur published in 1721: both Erlach and Gibbs had been pupils of Carlo Fontana. A (renewed) inscription below the circular windows reads: ‘THIS MAUSOLEUM WAS ERECTED 1740 TO THE MEMORY OF MARWOOD WILLIAM TURNER ESQUIRE THE BEST OF SONS’.


Fair (2002).


BoE: Yorks North Riding (1966) 218;

H Colvin, Architecture and the After-Life (1991) 321, fig.297 and A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (1995), 402, 407;

G Headley & W Meulenkamp, Follies, 402;

T Friedman, 'Scheemakers's Monument to the Best of Sons', Burlington Magazine, January 1980, 61-5;

VCH: Yorks North Riding (1923), 2, 379


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Church of St Cuthbert,
North Yorkshire.

TN10 5NW

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