It’s easy to find the Doulton mausoleum in West Norwood Cemetery – just look for the Doulton Path sign and you’ll soon come to its lovely wrought iron doorway.
This is the second of the Doulton mausolea and, although similar in shape to the Tate Mausoleum, the external and interior decoration and style are very different.
Sir Henry Doulton (1820 – 1897) commissioned this mausoleum after the death of his wife, Sarah, in 1888 and it was built in 1889. He entered the family firm of Doultons in 1835, enlarged its range of wares and took it over completely on his father’s death. In fact it was Sir Henry who invented the weather resistant type of terracotta used on all three vaults and he was knighted in 1887.
Sir Henry asked Harold Peto to design a similar building to the Tate mausoleum on a nearby plot and they are within walking distance of each other. Sir Henry’s son, Henry Lewis Doulton, followed him into the business and is also interred in the mausoleum. There is a memorial tablet to both Sarah and Sir Henry on the interior back wall of the building.
The sepulchre’s exterior is covered in relief ornamentation. This includes small busts of angels on either side of the entrance door, the Lamb of God on the back of the roof and Gothic revival medieval style heads along the roof border below it. Sir Henry ordered green glass for the windows on either side which are protected by wrought iron grilles and as, no expense was spared, the rear window is glazed with rippled Venetian glass.
The external decoration has been credited to Mark Marshall who was Doulton’s chief artist but I have also seen George Tinsworth also mentioned which even I’ve heard of as he was one of Doulton’s most renowned artists. I am indebted to Jeane Trend-Hill for the lovely photos of the stunning marble interior and mosaic ceiling. The mausoleum is not open to the public.
A Doulton descendant still comes and mows the grass around the mausoleum every Sunday and so it always looks at its best.
Both of the West Norwood mausolea were restored in 2002 and so are in very good condition. The architect, Harold Peto, is said to have also been responsible for the extensive use of terracotta in buildings along Pont Street in Mayfair.
© Carole Tyrrell all text and photographs unless otherwise stated.
Part 3 – The Stearns Mausoleum, Nunhead Cemetery