The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Hanham Mausoleum

A free-style classical building faced with Portland cement; square, with a deep projecting cornice surmounted by a dome and a small lantern. It is entered via steps and a round-headed doorway to the west and lit by three stained glass bulls-eye windows.


Not known


Grade II (England and Wales)

Year Built





The mausoleum was built by Captain Thomas Hanham (d.1883) who lived at Manston House. A pioneer for the introduction of cremation to the British Isles, Hanham used the mausoleum to store the bodies of his wife (d.1876) and mother (d.1877) while he sought permission to cremate them. When this was refused, he built his own crematorium and did the job himself in 1882. His own body was cremated there the following year. Hanham's wife and mother, also supporters of cremation were interred in the mausoleum when they died in 1876 and 1877. Cremation was made legal in Britain in 1902.


By the 1960s the lead from the roof had been stolen and the mausoleum had fallen into disrepair. A programme of repairs were carried out by the present owner of the mansion house in 2009 and completed in 2010. The repair works included reinstating the collapsed cornice, repairing cracks and recovering the roof with a lead substitute.


BoE: Dorset (1972) 266;

RCHM: Dorset (1970), 3, 144;

Shell Guide: Dorset (1966) 96;

Sir H Thompson, Modern Cremation (1889), 19-20.

Roger Guttridge: Dorset - Curious & Surprising, (Halsgrove)


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:


Adjacent to St Nicholas Church

DT10 1EX

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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

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