The mausoleum is round; a smooth ashlar drum encircled by thirteen Doric columns supporting an entablature with a pulvinated frieze, cornice and ribbed dome. Light enters the building via eight small windows set just above the cornice. The plastered interior has a moulded dado rail supporting seven round-headed niches and, above that, the wall is relieved by eight square recessed panels. Underneath this chamber is the brick vault, cruciform in plan, which contains the burials. Access to the vault today is through the floor of the chapel. Originally the entrance was through a gated tunnel in the mound which was dug out and the entrance unbricked. Afterwards this was bricked-up again and the hole filled and grass resown.
A matter of speculation, but the plans for Kirby Hall were drawn up by Henry Thompson’s son, Stephen, in collaboration with Lord Burlington, and the interiors designed by Roger Morris and John Carr.
Grade II* (England and Wales)
Built by Henry Thompson of Kirby Hall (1698-1760), a friend of Lord Burlington. A faculty was granted for the mausoleum in 1742. It was used for 24 burials, the last in 1910. The mausoleum suffered bomb damage during the Second World War and was repaired between 1864 and 1969. At this time the doorway to the east, which was originally closed with a wrought-iron gate, was sealed with an incised memorial slab. In 1997 the Friends of Little Ouseburn Mausoleum purchased the mausoleum from the family. Following a successful appeal for funds, the mausoleum was restored once more with the help of a grant from English Heritage.
BoE: Yorks West Riding (1967), 353;
H Colvin, Architecture and the After-Life (1991), 344;
information from Friends of Little Ouseburn Mausoleum.
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Churchyard of Holy Trinity,
Evicted from Eternity
Country Life article by Michael Hall ... more
Roger Bowdler's article for Churchscape
A paper discussing the significance of mausolea, introducing the work of the MMT ... more
The Decay of Dyinjg
An article by Christopher Woodward for the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter No. 61 Summer 1997 ... more