The Guise Mausoleum


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
St John the Baptist Church, Longney Road, Elmore, Gloucestershire, GL2 3SP


Ordnance survey map of The Guise Mausoleum
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1247875 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Aug-2019 at 04:12:25.


Statutory Address:
St John the Baptist Church, Longney Road, Elmore, Gloucestershire, GL2 3SP

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Mausoleum. 1733 for Sir John Guise.

Reasons for Designation

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.


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.


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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Colvin, H, Architecture and the After-Life, (1991)
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 The Vale and The Forest of Dean, (1970), 180
Colvin, H, 'A Roman Mausoleum in Gloucestershire: the Guise mausoleum at Elmore' in Georgian Group Journal, (1991), 41-44
Brown, I G, 'David Hume's Tomb: A Roman Mausoleum by Robert Adam' in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland , , Vol. 121, (1991), 321-422
Guise Mausoleum , accessed 1 July 2016 from
Listed Tombstones and Memorials at St John the Baptist Church, Elmore, Gloucestershire – Details and photographs, C Ellis, July 2014


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 23 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00400/07
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Jack Farley. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].