Granite and marble mausoleum, designed 1866.
Reason for Listing
The mausoleum of the Molyneux family is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Artistic interest: an unusually elaborate mausoleum, executed to a high standard of craftsmanship;
* Group value: with other listed monuments within the Grade I registered Kensal Green Cemetery.
The Cemetery of All Souls at Kensal Green was the earliest of the large privately-run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. Its founder George Frederick Carden intended it as an English counterpart to the great Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, which he had visited in 1821. In 1830, with the financial backing of the banker Sir John Dean Paul, Carden established the General Cemetery Company, and two years later an Act of Parliament was obtained to develop a 55-acre site at Kensal Green, then among open fields to the west of the metropolis. An architectural competition was held, but the winning entry – a Gothic scheme by HE Kendall – fell foul of Sir John's classicising tastes, and the surveyor John Griffith of Finsbury was eventually employed both to lay out the grounds and to design the Greek Revival chapels, entrance arch and catacombs, which were built between 1834 and 1837. A sequence of royal burials, beginning in 1843 with that of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, ensured the cemetery’s popularity. It is still administered by the General Cemetery Company, assisted since 1989 by the Friends of Kensal Green.
Mausoleum of the Molyneux family, 1866, designed by John Gibson, architect, and executed by John Underwood, mason. It is principally of pink Peterhead granite and Carrara marble, on a base of grey Rubislaw granite, with a panelled door of bronze. Octagonal in shape, each side sports a crocketed gable with finial, within which is an arched opening with trefoil-headed tympanum containing a shield, over panels of granite. Each side is separated by clusters of triple shafts with foliate capitals, supporting praying angels and crocketed pinnacles. The upper stage of the mausoleum has a frieze of trefoils and ballflower decoration, which formerly supported a squat spire. The door on the southern side sports eight panels with a six pointed star in each and the family name 'Molyneux' along the stile. The mausoleum is set within cast iron Gothic railings. The inscription reads: 'Edmund Molyneux, for many years her Britannic Majesty's Consul for the state of Georgia died in Paris...1864. This edifice over his remains was erected to his memory by his sorrowing widow and children.'
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.