A massive windowless mausoleum, built entirely of stone, which stands on the edge of the churchyard looking out towards Cannon Hall on the far side of the valley. The stone slab roof is bisected by a raised central section formed, to the front, by a gable with a pitched roof and, behind this, a stone sarcophagus with a cross carved on the lid. The external form of the building suggests it is divided internally in one of the traditional ways with a central passageway sandwiched between two blocks of loculi.
Possibly Sir Walter and John Roddam Spencer Stanhope
A plaque on the exterior of the mausoleum says that it was built in memory of Sir Walter Thomas William Spencer Stanhope KCB (1827-1911) of Cannon Hall and Horsforth Hall, Yorkshire. He was late Captain of the West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry and Hon. Colonel of the 2nd Battalion of York and Lancaster RV, as well as being MP for the Southern Division of the West Riding of Yorkshire between 1872 and 1880. The mausoleum was constructed by the stone mason of the estate, Samuel Swift, and there is a small working model of the building in the Cawthorne Victoria Jubilee Museum. The museum itself was built in 1887 by the estate craftsmen under the direction of Sir Walter and his brother, John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908), a noted Pre-Raphaelite artist. Judging by the sophistication of the design of the mausoleum, it seems likely that John Roddam was also involved in this project. But if this was so then the likely date of its construction would have to be after the death of Sir Walter’s wife, Elizabeth Julia, in 1880, rather than his own in 1911.
Notes for Victorian Society weekend trip, ‘From Tractarianism to Anglo-Catholocism’(August, 2002).
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