The mausoleum is a primitive-looking, flat-roofed building constructed from large roughly hewn blocks of stone with a copper-covered oak door. Inside there is a seated marble figure of Katherine, taken from a sketch which Sara made when the sisters were in Naples in 1817, and carved by a local sculptor, David Dunbar.
Grade II (England and Wales)
The Loshes were an old Cumbrian family who belonged to a free-thinking circle of lawyers, manufacturers and public servants. Sara Losh (1785-1853) and her sister Katherine grew up at the family home of Woodside in Wreay where Wordsworth and Southey were occasional visitors. Sara was very clever; a fine linguist (she spoke fluent French and Italian besides reading Greek and Latin), a great lover of art and architecture and an exceptionally gifted designer in her own right. Neither she nor Katherine ever married, and when the latter died in 1835 Sara was said to be ‘almost inconsolable’. Besides building the mausoleum in memory of her sister, she designed the church, memorial obelisk and mortuary chapel at Wreay. One of the most striking things about the decoration of her buildings is the combination of fossil forms with Egyptian, Christian and Jewish motifs; another is the way in which the bold stylization of the carving prefigures that of the Arts and Crafts Movement some fifty years later.
BoE: Cumberland and Westmorland (1967), 210-3;
J B Bullen ‘Sara Losh: architect, romantic, mythologist’, Burlington Magazine, (2001), 143 ii, 676-84;
Country Life, 4 November 1971, 1231;
J S Curl, The Victorian Celebration of Death (2000) 161;
G Headley and W Meulenkamp, Follies (1990) 381-2.
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