This week’s Curiosity is one of the UK’s most unusual landmarks. The Dashwood Mausoleum in Buckinghamshire is a hexagonal structure found on the hill in West Wycombe.
West Wycombe is a small historic village which is largely owned by the National Trust and has maintained much of its original character because of this. West Wycombe Park was the family home of the Dashwood family and it was Sir Francis Dashwood who built the Mausoleum on West Wycombe Hill.
Built in 1763, it houses the memorials of Sir Francis Dashwood’s family and friends. The mausoleum appears like a crown on the hill and it’s quite unlike any other structure you will come across in the UK. This is possibly down to the eccentric nature of Sir Francis who also helped found the Hellfire Club and was responsible for putting a golden ball on top of the church of St Lawrence.
In the centre of the Mausoleum is a pedestal and urn dedicated to Dashwood’s wife, Lady le Despenser. Each side of the building has an arch along with smaller arches and rectangular openings. The top of the walls are decorated with Coade stone vases and the inside of the walls have recesses designed to hold busts or urns.
The connecting church with its golden ball and the nearby Hellfire Caves make this area truly unique. For more about the caves, read our recent article on caves in the UK.
More info: To find out more about the Dashwood Mausoleum and other interesting monuments in the UK, visit www.mmtrust.org.uk. The Mausolea and Monuments Trust is a charitable trust for the protection and preservation of mausolea and funerary monuments situated in Great Britain and Ireland. The website also has a handy PDF with information about the mausoleum which you can print off and take with you, if you wish to take a walk up the hill.
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