The mausoleum is rectangular on plan with an apsidal east end. It is constructed of red and yellow brick and the apse has a lead-covered half dome surmounted by cross. There is an inscription with the words "WHAT MAN IS HE THAT LIVETH AND SHALL NOT SEE DEATH", beneath the cornice, and the walls are embellished with classical niches. The mausoleum is entered via a door inside the church, only opened by arrangement with the vicar.
Grade II* (England and Wales)
The Royal family has been linked with St Anne’s Church at Kew from the time the first chapel was built there in 1714 until the last extension was constructed in 1979. Frederick, Prince of Wales, the son of George II, had a house at Kew, and it was here that Frederick’s son, the future George III, was brought up. When, in 1760, George succeeded to the throne he continued to use the house at Kew as his country retreat. In the 18th and 19th centuries all the extensions to the main body of the Church of St Anne – made in 1770, 1805, 1837 and 1884 – were funded by members of the Royal family.
The mausoleum was built following the death of Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of George III and 1st Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850). It was attached to the east end of the church and, when the present chancel was built in 1884, it was taken down and reconstructed further east. The Duke’s wife, Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse Cassell (1797-1889) was laid to rest there five years later. But in 1930 Queen Mary decreed that the coffins of the Duke and Duchess should be removed to Frogmore. Only the coffin of their chamberlain, Baron Knesebeck, remains because she thought that "if we had all our servants buried in our graves there would be no room for us". The mausoleum then became a columbarium for the ashes of parishioners.
B of E: London 2 (1983) 503;
VCH: Surrey 3 (1911) 486;
David Williamson, Brewer's British Royalty, London, Cassell (1996) 56-57;
Richard Perkins, St Anne's Church, Kew Green (1993) church handbook.
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