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The Mausoleum to the Hope Family, Dorking

Description: The Mausoleum to the Hope Family

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 28 November 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 289886

OS Grid Reference: TQ1750148479
OS Grid Coordinates: 517501, 148479
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2234, -0.3187

Location: Chart Ln S, Dorking, Surrey RH4 2QJ

Locality: Dorking
Local Authority: Mole Valley District Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: RH4 2QJ

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Listing Text


Mausoleum. Built in 1818 in the Greek Revival style for Thomas Hope (1769-1831) as the family mausoleum. Probably designed by the architect William Atkinson (1774/5-1839) with input from the client. As the mausoleum was mostly buried between 1960 and 1973, the description is mainly taken from photographs of circa 1900 and 1919 and plans of 1957.

MATERIALS: Constructed of ashlar with retaining walls of rendered brickwork and decorative ironwork.

PLAN: Rectangular, comprising a rectangular railed courtyard with projecting side retaining walls leading to the mausoleum which has a rectangular antechamber leading to a larger square burial chamber built into the hillside.

EXTERIOR: The south east or entrance front of the antechamber is single storeyed with a plain pediment (the corner pieces and stone coping missing at the time of inspection) with moulded cornice and the walls are battered towards the base. There is a central round-headed arched entrance. The entrance was sealed in 1957 with bricks and external render, but early-C20 photographs show cast iron gates with fishscale pattern to the fanlight and double doors with square panels with patterns of intersecting diagonals. Adjoining on each side were two projecting retaining walls, of rendered brick, and a parapet with stone coping, stepped down at the front, linked to a low courtyard wall with ornamental cast iron railings with pattern of intersecting diagonals to square panels, slender iron gatepiers with pyramidal tops and double gates with similar panels.

INTERIOR: The antechamber had oak double doors with brass handles (believed to be still in place) leading to the burial chamber. The burial chamber is vaulted in ashlar with giant ribbed round-headed arches. There are 33 loculi (recesses for coffins) arranged in three tiers on three sides, each terminating in two plain cast iron rings.

HISTORY: The Hope Mausoleum was built in 1818 for the eminent art collector, connoisseur and promoter of the Neo-Classical style Thomas Hope (1769-1831). It was probably designed by William Atkinson, who was working on both the Deepdene and Hope's London house in Duchess street at this period, but with significant contributions from Hope himself. To date no original architect's plans or contemporary images have been discovered.

In 1807 Thomas Hope had purchased The Deepdene, Dorking, as his country residence, a Palladian house of 1765-75 which had been built for Charles Howard (later the 10th Duke of Norfolk). In 1814 the estate was enlarged when Hope's brother bought the adjoining estate, Chart Park, for £30,000 and presented it to him. In 1817 tragedy struck when, during a family tour of Italy, Thomas Hope's youngest son Charles died of a fever in Rome, aged seven. On returning to England the following year, Hope built a mausoleum on the edge of Chart Park over the burial place of Charles' ashes. The same year Thomas Hope commissioned the architect William Atkinson to execute additions of his own design in Neo-Classical style to the Deepdene, with the intention of uniting house and grounds. The original house was little altered but two side wings were added. Thomas Hope died on 2nd February 1831 in London and was buried ten days later in the family mausoleum at Deepdene in accordance with his wishes that his body 'be deposited in the quietest manner next to that of my ever lamented son Charles'.

The estate was inherited by Hope's eldest son Henry Thomas, who made extensive alterations to the Deepdene, completed around 1840, and enlarged the estate. He was buried in the mausoleum in 1862.

The Hope Mausoleum first appears on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1869 and appears on the 1896 and 1914 editions without any changes.

Thomas Hope's great-grandson and eventural heir, Lord Francis Pelham Hope (8th Duke of Newcastle) ran up enormous debts forcing him to sell the contents of the Deepdene in 1917. By 1920 the estate was divided and sold with much of the parkland developed for residential use. The last interment in the mausoleum was of the 8th Duke of Newcastle, buried here in 1941, by which time nine of the thirty-three loculi (recesses for coffins) were filled by members of the Hope family.

In 1951 the mausoleum was listed Grade II. In 1957, following repeated attempts by vandals to break into the mausoleum the doorway was permanently sealed with bricks and a cement render and the roof of the structure was strengthened with a three inch thick cement render. In 1960 the mausoleum and about one and a half acres of the surrounding land were donated to Mole Valley Urban District for the benefit of the public. The proposal was that the council 'cover over the mausoleum and make the whole area into a garden with garden seats, providing a suitable plaque was erected at the site recording the mausoleum's existence'. At some time between 1960 and 1973 the mausoleum was buried but the surroundings were not turned into a garden. In June 2009 part of the top of the south-east front of the mausoleum was uncovered.

The main house, the Deepdene, first operated as a hotel run by Madame Coletta from 1918, became Southern Railway Company offices in 1939 and was sold by British Railways in 1967 to a development company. It was demolished in 1969 and replaced by an office block.

1919 and c.1960 photographs in Dorking and District Museum.
Mausolea and Museums Trust for c.1900 external photograph an sketch showing location of occupants of burial chamber loculi.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Thomas Hope.
Alexander Bagnall, Proposal to restore the Hope Mausoleum. August 2009. Unpublished paper.

The building is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as an early and elaborate example of a Greek Revival style mausoleum, larger than many other pre-1840 mausolea, and of a pronounced archaic quality.
* Sculptural quality: the exterior has a projecting pedimented antechamber and retaining walls and the interior of the burial chamber has an impressive sculptural quality to the vaulting.
* Rarity of building type: the statutory list contains less than 50 examples of pre-1840 mausolea. Few of these are in the Greek Revival style.
* Historical interest of person commemorated: Thomas Hope was a major figure in Regency England as an art collector, connoisseur and promoter of the Neo-Classical style.
* Rarity of survival of buildings by this patron/designer: following the demolition of both Thomas Hope's London house in Duchess Street and his country house, the Deepdene, the Hope Mausoleum is now the only surviving building in the country commissioned and probably partly designed by Thomas Hope, who was so influential in promoting the Neo-Classical style.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.