|The Mausolea and
OBJECTIVES OF THE TRUST
The MMT exists to celebrate and protect funerary structures. Our approach is twin-pronged. We have taken a number of mausolea into our direct care (click here for details), and will go on working towards their conservation.
We are compiling a national mausoleum gazetteer. At present we can only guess at the scale of the problem of sepulchral decay. With the help of a grant from the Pilgrim Trust, we have travelled widely and undertaken much recording. A growing network of regional observers is proving invaluable. When completed, the gazetteer will be a vital tool for future conservation. For the first time, a true picture will emerge of the plight of this remarkable building type.
Click here for current news about the MMT's work, appeals and events.
THE CURRENT CRISIS
There is a crisis brewing in our burial grounds. Tombs, exposed to the elements and the assaults of vandals, are all too often abandoned and friendless. And mausolea, the largest funerary structures of all, present the greatest challenge.
Mausolea and monuments are the responsibility of heirs at law: parish councils, local authorities or cemetery companies must ensure that they do not become dangerous, but upkeep is left to descendants. Some families have taken such responsibilities seriously. Others, for whatever reason, have not: the upkeep of a distant ancestor's mausoleum may not be considered a top priority. Many are desperately in need of long-overdue maintenance or more serious repair. Private structures in the public domain, mausolea fall outside normal patterns of care. It is hard to think of a building type of comparable importance and diversity that faces so many problems. They regularly feature on Buildings at Risk registers.
Under current Heritage Lottery Fund rules, private individuals are not eligible to apply for Lottery funding towards the repair of their mausolea. The MMT, however, is eligible for such grants if it has taken the building into its guardianship.
In recognition of the challenge facing the MMT and the timeliness of its arrival, the Trust was awarded the 'Rural Charity of the Year' award at the Country Life awards in 1998. (Click here for Country Life's article on the MMT.)
Want to help? Click here to find out how