Designed in the Egyptian style, the mausoleum is raised on an octagonal stone base with cast-iron railings and gates (only a section of the railings survive). It is built of contrasting pink and grey granite with battered sides and a coved cornice. There is a double-cobra-headed winged sun in the coving over the entrance flanked by stylised lotus flowers. The roof (hidden by the coving) is of glass and the door bronze. Inside are the two coffins and, on the back wall, a marble relief carved by Lawrence Macdonald in Rome. This shows the dying Miss Hoste lying on a settee, with the Earl kneeling by her side accompanied by their 10 year old son Charles (1844-1934).
H E Kendall Senior
Grade II (England and Wales)
The mausoleum was built by Francis Jack Needham, 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (1787-1880) for his mistress, Miss Priscilla Hoste (1823-1854): the Earl is also buried there. The Earl of Kilmorey, ‘Black Jack’ as he was known, was a restless and eccentric man. Although married, he either eloped with, or abducted, the young Priscilla Hoste, who seems to have become his ward following the death of her father. When the couple had lived together for some ten years Priscilla became fatally ill and, when she died in 1854, the mausoleum was initially erected in Brompton Cemetery, supposedly at a cost of £30,000. The building was moved twice by the Earl; first when he went to live at Woburn Park, near Weybridge, and then in 1868 to its present location near his next home, Gordon House. This done, the Earl had a tunnel dug leading from Gordon House to the mausoleum. Rumour has it that he then sometimes put on a shroud, lay in a coffin, and had himself pushed on a trolley to the mausoleum. Whatever the truth of this, the underground passage is certainly there; it was rediscovered in 1966 when the walls were found to be plastered and painted with a pattern of green trellis-work. The tunnel was entered via a sloping path at each end.
Essential maintenance and repair of the roof was carried out in 2011. Conservation repair works to enclosing wall and railings undertaken in 2015.
A C B Urwin, The Second Earl of Kilmorey and his Mausoleum, Twickenham Local History Society (1997);
Derrick Mercer, 'The House that "Black Jack" Built, MMT News, 4 (2002)
Kilmorey Volunteers. (2015). Kilmorey Mausoleum Home Page. Available: https://sites.google.com/site/kilmoreymausoleum/. Last accessed 30/05/2015.
If you're visiting this mausoleum and would like to take this information with you, why not download and print the PDF using the link below:
St Margaret’s Road,
2002 MMT News Oct
Kilmorey mausoleum ... more
2011 Mausolus Spring
The Mausoleum in the Landscape; Hanham mausoleum; Lutyens memorials; Boswell mausoleum; Kilmorey mausoleum; the funeral of Landgrave Friedrich of Hesse-Kasselin 1884 ... more
Current Archaeology Article
Chris Catling profiles some of the least known and most dedicated voluntary heritage societies ... more