Tomb of the Clement family, c.1855.
Reason for Listing
* Architectural interest: a handsome, substantial Gothic Revival tomb of the 1850s
* Group value: with other listed tombs nearby, in the Grade I-registered Brompton Cemetery.
Although the slab over the entry to this monument is inscribed to John Turner Clement, the first grant holder was George Mackeson, his son-in-law. Adelaide Seale Mackeson, Clement's daughter and Mackeson's wife, died in 1854 at 11 Victoria Road, Kensington, aged 32 years, and was buried here. In October of the same year extra ground was added to the plot and a brick grave 12' deep constructed in cement. A record of 26 September 1855 notes that another 4' were added and a brick entrance provided. This suggests that the monument itself was constructed in or after September 1855. It appears that Mackeson intended the grave in which his wife was buried to be dedicated to her family (he was later buried in Richmond). Certainly Clement took on the responsibility to maintain the grave, writing on 10 March 1868 to request the placing of, 'a new Cross on the monument over my vault - similar to the one that has been destroyed'. Today the monument lacks a cross, which probably occupied the gable apex of the roof, above the inscription to Adelaide. Nothing is known of Clement, other than that he worked in the City (he wrote on headed paper of the 'Australian Mortgage, Land & Finance Co. Ltd., 72 Cornhill, E.C.')
Brompton Cemetery was one of the 'magnificent seven' privately-run burial grounds established in the 1830s and 1840s to relieve pressure on London's overcrowded churchyards. It was laid out in 1839-1844 to designs by the architect Benjamin B Baud, who devised a classical landscape of axial drives and vistas with rond-points at the intersections marked by mausolea or ornamental planting, the latter devised by Isaac Finnemore with advice from J C Loudon. The main Ceremonial Way culminates in a dramatic architectural ensemble recalling Bernini's piazza in front of St Peter's in Rome, with flanking colonnades curving outwards to form a Great Circle, closed at its southern end in a domed Anglican chapel (the planned Catholic and Nonconformist chapels were omitted for financial reasons). The cemetery, never a commercial success, was compulsorily purchased by the General Board of Health in the early 1850s, and has remained in state ownership ever since.
MATERIALS: Bath stone
The monument takes the form of a large Gothic Revival-style chest tomb with a pitched-roofed canopy. The chest has a rectangular base and a moulded lid, the sides being decorated with blind quatrefoils. The two quatrefoils on the eastern panel contain inscriptions in capital letters commemorating John Turner Clement (d.1876) and his wife Mary (d.1871); another records their son John Villiers Clement (d.1882). Resting on the lid is a stone ledger slab with a pitched top and a cross on its ridge, dedicated to Adelaide Seale Mackeson (d.1854). The steep-pitched canopy is open to the sides, with four centred-arched openings with hood mouldings and carved stops. There is a frieze of blind trefoils along the sides and, in the two gable ends, Early English-style tracery with clusters of columns with stiff-leaf capitals. Each gable end contains an inscribed trefoil: that to the west reads 'The family vault of John Turner Clement'; and that to the east is dedicated to Clement's daughter Adelaide (the same Adelaide Seale Mackeson commemorated on the stone slab). The York stone landing slab is inscribed 'Family Vault of J T Clement'.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.