Memorial statue to Janna Haagensen and subterranean family vault, 1897.
Reasons for Designation
The Haagensen Memorial and Vault of 1897 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural and Sculptural quality: the striking design and aesthetic quality of the statue achieves a high level of sculptural quality, which is echoed in the design and artistic quality of the marble-lined vault with its relief depictions of Peter and Janna Haagensen;
* Good quality materials: the use of white Carrara marble illustrates the attention given to the execution of this individually designed memorial statue and vault;
* Historical interest: the association of the memorial with Peter Haagensen, Consul for Sweden and Norway adds a measure of historic interest, evidenced by the volume of visitors who attended the memorial over a period of time, prompting the opening of a tea room and the production of souvenirs.
Peter Henrik Haagensen was born at Moss in Norway in 1837. He moved to Grimsby, together with his wife Janna (nee Hagerup) in 1868, to oversee his trading concerns. In 1871, he became the Consul for Sweden and Norway. During his time in Grimsby, he traded as a ships’ broker, a coal merchant, and as a timber merchant, keeping chambers at the Royal Dock from between 1882 and 1896. He originally lived at 64 Orwell Street, Grimsby, but as his businesses grew during the 1880s, he moved his family first to Norman Villas, and then to Spring Villa, Bargate. Peter and Janna had four children, Henry, Clara, Frederick and Macia. Unfortunately Janna had a chest condition and the family spent an extended holiday in Florence for her benefit; however, in spite of their efforts, she died in 1897. It is believed that Peter had originally sought to construct a vault at Grimsby cemetery but had been refused permission, so a marble-lined family tomb was built at Laceby Cemetery. Following Janna’s untimely demise, he had a memorial statue to his wife erected above it. Janna was interred in the tomb in 1897 and on 12 May 1919, following a service held in the Norwegian language, Peter’s body too was laid to rest in the tomb. The original script of the memorial epitaph has been altered at some point in time, as old postcards show that it originally included the names of the four children Henry, Clara, Frederick and Macia, which have been removed and the place of Peter’s death has been added.
Due to the high regard with which the family were held and the unusual nature of the statue, the Haagensen Monument attracted a steady flow of visitors and during the first half of the C20, sufficient numbers arrived by charabanc to support the establishment of the Laceby Tearooms, and the sale of postcards and glazed Goss pottery replicas. The monument was originally sited on the highest ground, located in what was then the north-east corner of the cemetery and would have been visible from both within and without the cemetery, and would have stood out as a singular feature above all of the other headstones; nothing compared with it for scale or quality. Since that time the cemetery has been extended northwards and the trees and shrubs in the east and former northern hedge-lines have grown taller than the monument and it has lost some of its prominence.
Memorial statue and subterranean family vault, erected 1897, Architect: unknown.
Materials – Carrara marble and red granite.
The Haagensen memorial is a free standing neo-classical style marble statue carved out of a single block of marble, depicting Janna Haagensen being guided towards heaven by an angel, with her four children climbing two tree stumps, to cling to her shroud. The angel holds Janna’s left arm and jestures towards heaven with her right hand. Janna’s gaze looks down upon her children and her right arm has turned into a branch of a tree. The statue rises out of a base with raised hooded corners and a plain facia, mounted on a pedestal with a plain stepped plinth. The front of the pedestal has a raised panel with carved rosettes at the corners and an epitaph in relief which reads – IN MEMORY OF / CONSUL PETER HENRIK HAAGENSEN / BORN AT MOSS NORWAY 3RD AUGUST 1837 / DIED AT BOURNMOUTH MAY 12TH 1919 / AND OF HIS BELOVED WIFE / JANNA / BORN AT VINGER NORWAY 7TH SEPT 1845 / DIED AT GRIMSBY 11TH DECR 1897 / TO THE GLORY OF GOD / IN THE / HOPE OF RESURRECTION AND RECOGNITION IN ETERNITY.
The memorial stands centrally within a rectangular enclosure, formed by chamfered red granite curb stones with dwarf posts and it is aligned at forty-five degrees to the sides of the enclosure. Domed iron ventilators with pierced copper ventilation screens are situated at each of the internal corners of the enclosure, and rectangular metal grilles set at ground level, over shallow voids are situated against the exterior face of the north-west and south-west corners of the enclosure.
The family vault is situated directly beneath the enclosure; it is accessed by a stairway that has a cover comprising twelve over-lapping rectangular cast-iron panels; six to either side that rest on a central cast-iron beam supported by cast-iron end trusses. The panels are secured and held in place by a pair of tubular steel poles. Each panel has in relief a central Patonce cross set in a diamond panel with stars at each corner and a simple loop handle at each end. When the panels are lifted off, a marble stairway is revealed. The stairway is flanked by marble lined walls, with a torus moulding. The riser of each step has a central incised roundel and flanking lined panels. The chamber of the vault is set at a right-angle to the stairway. The vault is marble lined with a segmental arched roof supported by four brackets carried on pilasters with foliate decoration. The mosaic floor has a plain central area with a coloured floral border depicting flowers. The end walls have two rows of ventilation holes within the arch; the northern wall has a carved portrait in relief of Peter Haagensen set in a dark grey oval marble frame, while the southern wall has a matching portrait of Jenna Haagensen. Six tombs are situated in the eastern wall, beneath segmental marble arches with chamfered and stopped edges. Those to either side of the central pair of tombs are plain, each with a pair handles. The central pair of tombs are at ground level, each with a single handle and have lettering that has been let into the surface; the northern tomb reads – PETER HENRIK HAAGENSEN / BORN AT MOSS NORWAY 3 AUG / -1837,- / DIED 12 May / -1919.- and the southern tomb reads – JANNA A. E. HAAGENSEN / BORN HAGERUP AT VINGER NORWAY / -1845,- / DIED AT GRIMSBY 11 DECR / -1897.- . The central pair of tombs is separated by a carved classically decorated panel that rises from the floor to the ceiling.