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Brass family tomb, Brompton Cemetery

A Grade II Listed Building in Kensington and Chelsea, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4842 / 51°29'3"N

Longitude: -0.1901 / 0°11'24"W

OS Eastings: 525770

OS Northings: 177691

OS Grid: TQ257776

Mapcode National: GBR 1Q.J4

Mapcode Global: VHGQY.NYCL

Entry Name: Brass family tomb, Brompton Cemetery

Listing Date: 21 December 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1403338

Location: Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW10

County: London

District: Kensington and Chelsea

Electoral Ward/Division: Redcliffe

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kensington and Chelsea

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Luke, South Kensington

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

Headstone and ledger slab to Brass family, c.1899, with relief sculpture by A Stanley Young.

Description

MATERIALS: Portland stone with bronze relief panel

A very tall (approximately 2m) headstone in Free Classical style, with supporting volutes and an upper section composed of two short Ionic pilasters beneath a segmental pediment; an inset bronze relief, dated 1899 and signed by the sculptor A Stanley Young, shows mourners by a death-bed. In front is a raised ledger slab in the form of a scroll. Moulded copings mark the boundaries of the plot, with miniature Ionic pilasters at the outer corners. Inscriptions, in Art Nouveau bronze lettering, commemorate Horace Lot (d.1896), his father Lot Brass (1854-1937), his mother Elizabeth Brass (1856-1939), and his brother, the lawyer and civil servant Sir Leslie Brass (1891-1958).

History

The headstone commemorates the Brass family and was sculpted by A Stanley Young who was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1905, 1908, 1911 and 1912. His commissioned works include the statue of Mercury atop Willing House, Gray's Inn Road (1910) and a relief sculpture of Prudence, Justice and Liberality on the Norwich Union Assurance building, 49-50 Fleet Street, London (1913); both buildings are Grade II listed.

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.

Reasons for Listing

* Design interest: a large and prominent memorial in an unusual Art Nouveau-influenced style, with a relief panel of good sculptural quality;
* Group value: it is located within the Grade I-registered Brompton Cemetery and has group value with other listed tombs and structures nearby.

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