Monument for John Allan (1790-1865). 1867. Sculptor: Matthew Noble. Nunhead Cemetery, Linden Grove, London SE15. According to a cemetery plaque, “His son and partner, Col. Jon Harrison Allan was an amateur archeologist. It was probably he who designed the massive family tomb based on the Payava tomb at Xanthos.” [Click on the image and those below to enlarge them.]

A plaque in the cemetery, which identifies Allan as a “a partner in a shipping form in the City,” states that this “the most expensive monument at Nunhead.” The British Listed Buildings site judges it the “most elaborate monument in the cemetery” and provides the following detailed description: “Granite aedicule on 2-stage base, with 4 columns per side, surmounted by an arched roof with 2 lion masks per side and a ridge with 2 Celtic cross finials. Steps leading to vault in front. Marble relief of the Ascension on front, bronze portrait roundel on rear. 4 pedestals at corners, originally each with an urn above (some missing at time of inspection). Projecting coffin-like slab in front of the aedicule was originally flanked by a pair of mourning female figures.”

Left: Portrait bas relief of John Allan. Right: The ascension: angels bear the deceased up to heaven.

Left: Eagle or falcon. Right: Lion. Another view: angle showing tomb, façade, columns, and assumption.

Photograph and research by Robert Freidus. Formatting and text 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 it in a print one.]


“Monument to John Allan, Nunhead Cemetery, Camberwell.” British Listed Buildings. Web. 23 March 2013.

Last modified 24 March 2013