Drake Mausoleum

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Drake Family Mausoleum

Woking Borough Council

Drake family mausoleum, Brookwood Cemetery

Surrey Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) logo

Through the help of Pankhurst Graphic Masonry the Society has employed Mr John Deal - an architectural consultant and conservation expert - to compile reports on the current state of the Drake mausoleum and the Columbarium.

Mr Deal was also requested to recommend appropriate remedial work to prevent any further deterioration to these mausoleums.

Vegetation forcing the pediment of the Drake mausoleum to openIn January members of the Society's restoration team cleared the forest of saplings that were established on the roof of the mausoleum, tided the area and painted the wrought iron gates. At the same time the restoration team fitted a temporary tarpaulin over the roof space to try to prevent any further ingress of rainwater onto the structure.

 

(Right) Vegetation forcing the pediment to open

 

 

View of the barrel vault, Drake mausoleum, Brookwood Cemetery(Left) View of the top of the barrel vault to the Drake mausoleum

Mr Deal's report specifies the emergency repairs that are required to prevent any further deterioration to this mausoleum. The cost of this work is estimated at £6,589 and the Society has the resources to proceed with this work, which will start in the near future.

In addition, the Society has been awarded a grant of £2,000 from the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust to assist with the costs of this project.

The state of the mausoleum is critical because it has lost most of its original roof. The surviving "roof" comprises a brick barrel vault which was (before the tarpaulin was fitted) fully exposed to the elements.

 

Missing section of the pediment, Drake mausoleum(Right) Missing section of the pediment

Further information on the restoration work can be seen here.

The Drake mausoleum was commissioned by Sir William Richard Drake (1817-1890) and is one of the most attractive mausoleums in the cemetery. Several members of the family are buried in the vault beneath, and one is buried in a grave immediately to the right of the mausoleum.

 

The following description is taken from the information supporting the designation of this building as a Grade II structure (23 July 2004):

"Mausoleum to Sir William Richard Drake (d.1890). Designer unknown. Limestone and sandstone, pink granite shafts, remains of glass mosaic decoration to frieze, wrought iron gates.

"DESCRIPTION: this mausoleum comprises a rectangular cell with arcaded sides, four arched openings per side, and a triple-arched west end with low gates. Above a moulded base is a dado of pink sandstone; paired granite shafts with crocketed capitals support the springing of the arches, also of sandstone, which are decorated with cable mouldings. The upper part of the structure comprises a pedimented roof over a densely bracketed cornice. The floor of the structure has a cross-incised slab to the centre. The inner rear wall is tripartite, echoing the opposite entrance wall, with engaged shafts carrying a sandstone frieze. The wall surface is enriched with floral relief decoration around circular fields: these are now empty, but probably contained bronze panels. To the centre is the Drake coat of arms, over an inscription which reads TYME TRYETHE TRUTHE. The roof has fallen in.

"HISTORY: Drake was a lawyer and connoisseur, involved with both the Burlington Fine Arts Club and with the formation of the Murano Glass & Mosaic Company in 1869, an offshoot of the Salviati firm. The once prominent employment of mosaic to the frieze inscription is now sadly depleted. A very unusual late Victorian mausoleum in the Lombardic manner, reflecting Drake’s aesthetic interests."

Photographs © Brookwood Cemetery Ltd and John Deal

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This site was last updated 14-09-09 © The Brookwood Cemetery Society