Budd mausoleum, Brixton
Extravagant Georgian memorial in central Brixton
(© urban75, 23rd March 2008)
Slapped in the middle of the busy road junction of Brixton Road, Effra Road and Brixton Hill is the ostentatious stone monument to Richard Budd, designed and built by R. Day.
The monument was erected by his son Henry Budd in 1825, with Lambeth's historian Thomas Allen positively gushing about its quality, describing it as, "without doubt the finest sepulchral monument in the open air in the metropolis, and perhaps not equalled by any one in the kingdom."
The side facing Brixton carries this message:
"Sacred to the memory of Richard Budd Esq. Born in this parish, November the 26th, 1748 and late of Russell Square, London. Died July the 6th, 1824. This mausoleum was erected as a memorial of affection to a respected parent from his youngest son, Henry Budd Esq."
The writing on the right commemorates Henry Budd of Russell Square, who Zebedee'd this mortal coil on January 10th, 1862.
Mausoleum with the clock tower of Lambeth Town Hall in the background.
Here's a detailed description of the monument from "Brixton: Rush Common', Survey of London: volume 26 (1956)"
At the north end of the churchyard, which has recently been converted into a public open space, is a remarkable monument erected by Henry Budd in memory of his father Richard Budd (1748-1824)... It is of Greek derivation in its parts, with some Egyptian features, and shows the influence of Soane. Square in plan, it is built apparently of Portland stone, in three main stages, on a stepped granite base.
The four faces are identical except for a low sunk doorway with a projecting pedimented lintel, which cuts into the base on the west side. The lowest step has vermiculated rustication on its face. The main stage consists of four broad pedimented stele projecting from the central block, with classical urns set in the reentrant angles thus formed. The stele are ornamented with paterae and egg and dart moulding, and contain white marble slabs carrying inscriptions to members of the Budd family.
The pediments are surmounted by acroteria at the corners. The second stage has a cornice of considerable projection with scrolled acroteria, the square panels below containing openings with fretted iron grilles and carvings of the serpent with its tail in its mouth, symbol of eternity, and the winged globe, the Egyptian hieroglyph for the Almighty Creator.
Flanking these panels are low relief carvings of angels in side panels which are returned on to the adjoining face. The top stage is stepped back and has carvings of the Holy Dove in its four panels. The acanthus-leaved cornice supports segmental pediments topped by two blocking courses and a large anthemion finial.
Inscription to the memory of Mrs Charlotte Budd ('wife of Henry Budd Esq of Russell Square') who died on Jan 30th, 1848.
Memorial inscriptions to Richard Budd ('eldest son of Henry and Charlotte Budd') who died on Jan 26th, 1830, Emmeline Budd ('youngest sister of the above', died April 18th 1851) and Charlotte Budd ('eldest daughter of Henry and Charlotte,' died 28th Sept 1854).
Directly behind the monument is a path into
St. Matthew's Peace Garden with St. Matthew's in the distance.
The garden remains a big hit with afternoon drinkers, drug dealers and, in the summer, folks chilling out after a night in the nearby Mass/Fridge nightclubs.
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