|Hatchford Mausoleum, Cobham|
I decided this site needed an entire page to itself.
Mausoleum lies on the edge of a wood near the well-known Chatley
Semaphore Tower at Cobham, Surrey, just off the M25. It's a classical
temple-like building - 'The Temple of Sleep', an inscription informs
you - built by Sir Henry Samuelson in 1921 to commemorate his
parents, Bernard and Caroline, and sister Adelaide, who had died young.
Henry had been an MP, but resigned his seat due to ill-health and
spent a while at Beaulieu-sur-Mer in the south of France, helping to
build an Anglican church to serve the ex-pat community there. His
in Britain was Hatchford Park. Why he decided to uproot his family from
Torbay, which was where they were originally laid to rest,
isn't very clear. Anyway, they, along with the one-ton copper
table-tomb which topped the grave, were transported here to the Surrey
hills, and they were reburied beneath this strange monument.
come upon it now rather suddenly, sitting silently among the trees. It
has an intensely sad, derelict feel to it. The copper tomb -
its weight and the isolation of the site - was stolen some years ago,
and the whole building is slowly being invaded by brambles and weeds.
Despite the optimism of the Greek quotation from Mark's Gospel on the
top - To paidion ouk apathenen alla katheodei, 'the
child is not dead, but asleep'- I can't recall visiting anywhere so
lifeless. It's not a happy or peaceful place. There were recent
tea-light candles on the ledge of the little chapel underneath, showing
somebody's been up to something.