Photographs by Robert Freidus. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. 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.]

Mausoleum Sir William Richard Drake (1817-1890). Brookwood Cemetery, Cemetery Pales, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, Greater London. [Click on these images and those below to enlarge them.]

As this elegant Italianate structure suggests, Sir William was a distinguished and cultivated man of fine artistic sensibility. An eminent lawyer, he was also the author of several books on ceramics, etchings etc., and an art collector. He lived at Oatlands Lodge, Weybridge, Surrey, and commissioned this mausoleum in 1880 after the death of his wife, Dame Katharine Stewart Forbes Drake. It is Grade II listed, very beautiful inside, and originally had a Salviati frieze. The listing text describes it, in part, thus:

Limestone and sandstone, pink granite shafts, remains of glass mosaic decoration to frieze, wrought iron gates.... a rectangular cell with arcaded sides, four arched openings per side, and a triple-arched west end with low gates..... The floor of the structure has a cross-incised slab to the centre.... The wall surface is enriched with floral relief decoration around circular fields: these are now empty, but probably contained bronze panels [these were family shields, since stolen]. To the centre is the Drake coat of arms, over an inscription which reads: TYME TRYE THE TRUTHE.

Sir William Drake

This drypoint etching by Elizabeth Armstrong, after Thomas Cooper Gotch, shows Drake very much at home amid his art treasures. © copyright, National Portrait Gallery, London, and generously licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Click on the image for a larger picture.

Drake was involved with the Burlington Fine Arts Club, and helped form the Murano Glass & Mosiac Company in 1869. This was connected with the Salviati firm — hence the frieze, sadly no longer seen. NB Guilio Salviati is also buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

The mausoleum has recently been restored at great cost (though the mosaic work and family shields were, it seems, irreplaceable). It was worth it to preserve what the listing text sums up as "a very unusual late Victorian mausoleum in the Lombardic manner, reflecting Drake's aesthetic interests."

Additional details


"Drake Family Mausoleum, Woking." British Listed Buildings. Web. 9 July 2013.

"Drake Mausoleum." Brookwood Cemetery Society. Web. 9 July 2013.

"The Drake Mausoleum." The Mausoleum and Monuments Trust. Web. 9 July 2013.

Drake, William Richard, Sir. Notes on Venetian Ceramics. London: John Murray. 1968. Internet Archive. Web. 9 July 2013.

"Drake, William Richard, Sir (1817-1890)." British Armorial Bindings (University of Toronto Libraries). Web. 9 July 2013.

Last modified 10 July 2013