The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Guise Mausoleum

Freestanding neo-classical mausoleum in ruins, built on a square ground plan.  Formerly comprising a vaulted superstructure with pyramidal roof supported on masonry piers having engaged baseless Doric columns on all four corners and a round-headed archway to elevations.  Early images of the mausoleum depict a Doric frieze with triglyphs and blank metopes.  Only the lower portion of the piers and engaged columns remain in situ with detached masonry fragments scattered to the immediate area.  

Architect

Not applicable

Listing

Grade II* (England and Wales)

Year Built

1733

History

In his will of 1732 Sir John Guise stipulated that a monument should be built for himself and his family based on one illustrated in Roland Freart’s Parallele de l’Architecture Antique et de la Moderne, first published in 1650. He was not unique in his choice of a Roman prototype, but what distinguishes this mausoleum from other examples built at the time is that it is an exact copy, not a variation on an Antique theme. It has also been identified as the earliest surviving example in western Europe of the use of the baseless Doric column in modern times, an element which was to become a fundamental component of the Neo-Classical style in the later 18th century. The structure has been in ruins since the vault and pyramid collapsed in the early 20th century. It was taken into guardianship by the MMT in 1998.

Condition

Despite its ruinous condition it is considered that there is sufficient documentary evidence to reconstruct the mausoleum.  The MMT now proposes to embark on an ambitious restoration programme and is in the process of applying for funding for these works. 

Sources

BoE: Gloucestershire 2 (2002), 180;

H Colvin, Architecture and the After-Life (1991), 321, fig. 295;

H Colvin 'A Roman Mausoleum in Gloucestershire: the Guise mausoleum at Elmore', Georgian Group Journal, 1991, 41-4.

PDF

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Location

Churchyard of St John the Baptist,
Elmore,
Gloucestershire.

GL2 3SP

Related Articles/Publications

2003 MMT News July
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