Top photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. Other photographs by Robert Freidus. Formatting and perspective correction by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Close-up of the Mausoleum of Carre (Caroline) Rule McDonald (1854-1900), and her husband James McDonald (1843-1915), completed 1902. It was built of white marble and black granite, and has an attractively worked bronze door with "life-size" angel sculptures either side. Brompton Cemetery, London. [Click on these images and those below to enlarge them.]
McDonald was a Scotsman who went out to America, where he helped found the Standard Oil Company. He became the head of its European Operations. After his wife died he arranged for her remains to be placed in the catacombs of the cemetery until the mausoleum was completed (Brompton Cemetery, 25). Although he himself died in Washington D.C. in 1915, it was not until after the war, in 1920, that he could eventually be interred with her (see listing text). Carre's son by a previous marriage, James Georger Briggs (1879-1909), is also commemorated in a large inscription along the north interior wall.
The mausoleum was Grade II listed in 2011. The listing text describes it as being "a large and elaborate mausoleum of high architectural quality in a sophisticated Flamboyant Gothic style," with "good original sculpture and stained glass" inside. The glass, with a pattern of "palms, lilies and crowns," allows light to fall on a small altar with its own carved reredos, so that it looks like a little personal memorial chapel. The mausoleum was also considered important because of its contribution to its context in this Grade I listed cemetery.
Brompton Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide. London: Royal Parks, 2002.
Mausoleum of James McDonald, Brompton Cemetery Historic England. Web. 15 April 2019. [This has a good photograph of the interior.]
Last modified 15 April 2019