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Duff House Mausoleum










  Duff House MausoleumErected by James, 2nd Earl Fife in 1793, beside the burial site of the former Carmelite Monastery, the Mausoleum in the Gothic style stands high above the River Deveron south of Duff House. Around the top of the exterior is a frieze of quatrefoil panels made of the artificial stone invented by Mrs Coade, [Coade Stone] as are the decorative obelisks [some missing] on top of the frieze.

At one time the main entrance was flanked by two statues of Faith and Hope which were removed after Duff House was left to Banff and Macduff in 1906. The cast iron main door incorporates an earl‟s coronet and the initial „F‟ amongst the decoration.

At the rear of the Mausoleum is the tomb and recumbent effigy of Dr Alexander Douglas, Provost of Banff from 1648 to1650, which was removed from St Mary‟s Kirkyard in Banff, given a new inscription by the 2nd Earl, and passed off by him as one of his ancestors.

At one time there was another „liberated‟ tomb within the Mausoleum, on the west wall, which had been taken from Cullen Kirk. This was the tomb of the Earl‟s ancestor, Andrew Duff of Muldavit. The tomb was returned to Cullen Kirk in the 1950s.

The earliest ancestor to be buried in the Mausoleum was Alexander Duff of Braco who died in 1705 and was initially buried in Grange Kirkyard. His remains were transferred to the Mausoleum in 1793, along with those of the 1st Earl and his Countess who had also been buried in the Grange Kirkyard.
Now to be seen on the west wall, where the Cullen Kirk effigy once stood, is the semi-circular sandstone slab which the 2nd Earl caused to be made to cover the inscription on Dr Alexander Douglas‟s tomb at the back of the Mausoleum.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Earls are all buried in the Mausoleum, along with other Duff relations, making a total of twenty-one individual interments. A list of all the interments can be seen on the wall to the left of the main entrance. The 6th Earl and 1st Duke is the only Duff missing, his corpse is interred in the little Chapel at Mar Lodge on Deeside, along with that of his Duchess.

The only temporary inhabitant of the Mausoleum was Henry Frederick Stephenson who died suddenly at Duff House on 13th July 1858 when he was a guest of the 5th Earl and Countess Fife.

H F Stephenson was the natural son of Charles, 10th Duke of Norfolk, and he married Mary Keppel, daughter of the 4th Earl of Albemarle. She gave him fifteen children! Stephenson was a Commissioner to the Inland Revenue, and Member of Parliament for Westbury. His natural father was the Earl Marshall of England who administered the English College of Arms and appointed the various Heralds.
In 1813 Stephenson was appointed Falcon Herald Extraordinary in order to join the Mission which went to Russia to present Czar Alexander with the Order of the Garter. The Czar gave him a diamond ring as a memento of the occasion.

Stephenson‟s remains were later transferred to the parish church of Quidenham in Norfolk.



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Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022