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The Guise Mausoleum

A Grade II* Listed Building in Elmore, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8324 / 51°49'56"N

Longitude: -2.3398 / 2°20'23"W

OS Eastings: 376680

OS Northings: 214924

OS Grid: SO766149

Mapcode National: GBR 0K3.382

Mapcode Global: VH94H.D6DL

Entry Name: The Guise Mausoleum

Listing Date: 22 April 1991

Last Amended: 7 September 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1247875

English Heritage Legacy ID: 352201

Location: Elmore, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL2

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Elmore

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Elmore

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Mausoleum. 1733 for Sir John Guise.


Mausoleum. 1733 for Sir John Guise.

MATERIALS: limestone ashlar.

DESCRIPTION: neo-Classical style, and square in plan. The upstanding remains comprise four ashlar piers with capitals and the lower two-thirds of attached baseless columns, originally with Doric capitals, which formed the four corners of the structure. The piers originally supported a vaulted superstructure and there was a recessed semi-circular arch to each of the four sides. Rising above the columns was an entablature with a Doric frieze, surmounted by a pyramidal stone roof. The burial vault takes the form of a chamber beneath the structure. Since the collapse of the upper part of the mausoleum in the early C20, much of its masonry now lies on the ground.


In his will of 9 November 1732, written a week before his death, Sir John Guise of Elmore Court stipulated that a monument be built for himself and his family based on one illustrated in Roland Fréart’s Parallele de l’Architecture Antique et de la Moderne, first published in 1650 and translated into English in 1664. He believed that Fréat’s engraving depicted Virgil’s Tomb, a well-known mausoleum on the outskirts of Naples, but it was in fact of a Roman mausoleum at Terracina to the south of Rome. Sir John allocated £500 for the monument, which was indeed an exact copy of the one at Terracina (no longer extant), and it was erected in the churchyard at Elmore, to the north-west of the Church of John the Baptist (Grade I listed). The later Guise family burial plot is located nearby. The mausoleum has been in ruins since the upper part of the structure collapsed sometime in the early C20, and it was taken into the guardianship of the Mausolea and Monuments Trust in 1998.

Reasons for Listing

The Guise Mausoleum, erected in 1733 for Sir John Guise, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as one of the earliest mausolea in England, and despite its ruinous condition, its original form can be reconstructed with a degree of accuracy;
* Design: of considerable importance as probably the earliest known neo-Classical structure in the country since antiquity to incorporate baseless Doric columns in its design;
* Historic interest: the Guise Mausoleum contributes to our understanding of the development of neo-Classicism during the C18;
* Group value: the structure stands in the churchyard of a Grade I listed church and groups strongly with an important ensemble of listed C17, C18 and C19 funerary monuments.

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