The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

Making a distinctive appearance in the graveyard of  St Andrew’s Church, Rodney Street, Liverpool is the 15 foot high pyramidal tomb of the British civil engineer and civil engineering contractor, William Mackenzie.

The tomb lies in what is reputed to be one of the most haunted areas of Liverpool city.

The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

Born near Nelson, Lancashire in 1794 and the eldest of the 11 children, Mackenzie started his career as an apprentice weaver but changed to civil engineering.

He went on to make his fortune working as engineer on canal and railway projects, latterly working on new railway lines in France, Spain, the Italian states and Belgium.

The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

Mackenzie died in 1851, leaving most of his £341,848 estate to his brother Edward, who erected this pyramid shaped monument  at the grave in 1868.

The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

I couldn’t get any closer to the monument, but according to Wikipedia, an inscription on the Pyramid door reads:

In the vault beneath lie the remains of William Mackenzie of Newbie, Dumfriesshire, Esquire who died 29th October 1851 aged 57 years. Also, Mary his wife, who died 19th December 1838 aged 48 years and Sarah, his second wife who died 9th December 1867 aged 60 years. This monument was erected by his Brother Edward as a token of love and affection A.D. 1868. The memory of the just is blessed.

The curious Pyramidal tomb of William Mackenzie in Liverpool

A wonderfully improbable local legend tells the story of how McKenzie was supposedly entombed seated at a table with a winning hand of cards in his bony fingers.

The yarn insists that as an inveterate gambler, he bet and lost his soul in a game of poker with the Devil and figured that if he was never buried, Satan could never claim his prize.

More info:
Church of Saint Andrew, Liverpool
The McKenzie Collection