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Latitude: 53.2099 / 53°12'35"N
Longitude: -4.1938 / 4°11'37"W
OS Eastings: 253589
OS Northings: 370336
OS Grid: SH535703
Mapcode National: GBR 5M.1V01
Mapcode Global: WH546.KL53
Entry Name: Mausoleum to N end of Vaynol Wood, with enclosing wall and railings
Listing Date: 26 August 1992
Last Amended: 22 September 1997
Source ID: 4207
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Located at the N end of Vaynol Park, in woodland, and reached by a path from the National Trust car park. It stands in a circular enclosure surrounded by iron railings.
Locality: Vaynol Park
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Vaynol was owned in the C16 by the Williams family; later inherited by Thomas Assheton-Smith, owner of the Dinorwic slate quarries, and finally passed into the the Duff family ownership before the estate was split up. The landscape and built heritage of the park has evolved throughout this time, but much of its character stems from the work of the Assheton-Smith family.
The mausoleum was built in the later C19 for the Assheton-Smith family and designed by Henry Kennedy, architect, of Bangor. It appears on the 1st edition of the OS map, surveyed in 1887. A plan in the archives dated 1879 is for the gate piers to the enclosure, having pyramidal caps to the chamfered stone piers, and iron gates.
Built of snecked rubble and freestone dressings, with a banded fish-scale and plain slate roof. Designed in an Early French gothic style, rectangular in plan with polygonal ends and an octagonal belltower off the N corner beside the gabled main entrance. Three windows each side. The tower has a stone tiled roof with deeply crocketed eaves cornice together with similar bands below the open belfry. Broached buttresses. Other gothic details include annulets to foliated shafts and 2-light windows to the apses with quatrefoil oculi. Some good iron strapwork to the main door.
The mausoleum enclosure is octagonal, with stone walls capped with tall cast iron railings. Double gates provide access from the E.
The interior is remarkably tall, with an open roof of hammerbeam trusses rising from a carved timber cornice. Nook shafts to the windows and sill band carried round. The three 2-light E end windows have good stained glass, possibly by Powell. Carved stone tympanum over the doorway leading to the tower stairs, which also descend to the burial crypt below, now sealed.
Monuments: The railings around the central monument have been dismantled. Slate tablets to (a) Enid Mary Archdale Porter [Duff Assheton-Smith], d.1919, and (b) Laura Alice Holdsworth and G.W.Assheton-Smith, d.1940.
Included for its special interest as a rare Welsh example of this building type, and a building of some grandeur of design.
Other nearby listed buildings