The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Berens Mausoleum

This is a gorgeous monument. 12 kneeling angels holding shields and supported by paired barley sugar columns, guard the sarcophagus, while the chest below is embellished with statues of the Evangelists and figurative scenes carved in relief. Colour is added by borders of red and yellow Minton tiles round the sarcophagus and polished red granite base on which the marble superstructure stands. Formerly there was a fine bronze door but, if it is still there, it has been covered by brick. The railings have also gone.


Edward M Barry


Grade II* (England and Wales)

Year Built



Alexander Berens (1797-1860) who lived at Raleigh Hall, Brixton Rise, had made a fortune as a linen draper specialising in fancy goods. The tomb supposedly cost £1500 and was illustrated in The Builder in 1858. The sculptural carving was carried out by Thomas Earp.


Poor: part of the lid of the sarcophagus is breaking away and the statues very weathered. This magnificent tomb is in desperate need of repair (2005).


Chris Brooks, ‘Burying Tom Sayers: Heroism, Class and the Victorian Cemetery’, Victorian Society, Annual (1989), 19;

Geoffrey Manning, The Listed Structures in West Norwood Cemetery (1989);

Hugh Meller, London Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer (1985) 217.


Friends of West Norwood Cemetery website


If you're visiting this mausoleum and would like to take this information with you, why not download and print the PDF using the link below:


West Norwood Cemetery (Plot 63),
Norwood Road,

SE27 9JU

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