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Allan Mausoleum

The design of the mausoleum is based on that of the tomb of Payava at Xanthos in Turkey (which also had lion’s heads projecting from its curved roof). It is built of granite and stands on a substantial Portland stone base beneath which lies the family vault. The stone carving on the front shows John Allan’s body being borne up to heaven; the bronze bas-relief on the back is a portrait of the man; and, between the columns at the sides are plaques commemorating members of the family buried in the vault. The artist responsible for the sculpture was Matthew Noble.


Probably Col. John Harrison Allan




Grade II (England and Wales)

Year built



The mausoleum was built by Colonel John Harrison Allan (1820-1882) following the deaths of his father, John, in 1865, and mother, Judith, in 1866. John Allan (1790-1865) who was born in Whitby, owned ships both there and in London. The son was also a ship owner and, probably as a result of the opportunities this offered for travel, developed an interest in antiquities. He published A Pictorial Tour in the Mediterranean in 1845, dedicated to Prince William of Prussia, and was a long standing member of both the Athenian Archaeological Society and the Egyptian Society of Cairo. Also buried in the mausoleum are his two sisters, Mary (1824-74), Elizabeth Ann (1831-1914) and, it is assumed, the Colonel himself.


Good, apart from the plinth, which has some cracks and other signs of wear and tear (2002).


Friends of Nunhead Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide (1988) 34;

Chris Brooks: Mortal Remains (1989) 158-159;

Andrew Mead, ‘Back From the Grave’, The Architects’ Journal, 31 January 2002, 40-41;

Ron Wollacott, More Nunhead Notables (1988) 8.


Friends of Nunhead Cemetery website

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Nunhead Cemetery
Linden Grove
SE15 3LF