Douglas Mausoleum

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The Douglas Mausoleum was built around 1830 to house the remains of Sir William Douglas and members of the Douglas family. In 1792 Sir William, acting under Royal Charter, changed the name of the small village called Causewayend to Castle Douglas.

The following are interred in the mausoleum:

1. Sir William Douglas 20 Sep 1809 Of Gelston; eldest of 4 brothers; founder of castle Douglas
2. James Douglas 15 Mar 1821 Brother of William; of Orchardton
3. William Douglas 8 Jul 1821 Son of James; inheritor of Gelston Estates; MP
4. Samuel Douglas 6 Apr 1824 Brother of William; of Netherhall
5. James Maitland 23 Sep 1827 Son of William Maitland and Mathilda Douglas; daughter of James D.ouglas
6. Margaret Douglas 9 Jan 1830 Of New York; wife of George the brother of William; visiting friends in Liverpool when she died
7. Margaret Douglas (jnr) 29 Oct 1831 Daughter of George and Margaret douglas; died in St Cloud, France
8. Mary Sarah Douglas Robinson 26 May 1832 Daughter of William Rose Robinson and Mary Douglas, daughter of James Douglas of Almorness.
9. William Rose Robinson 14 Dec 1834 Husband of Mary Douglas of Almorness
10. William Maitland 4 Aug 1842 Husband of Matilda Douglas of Gelston Castle, daughter of James Douglas
11. Mary Agnes Douglas 27 Aug 1845 Daughter of William and Matilda
12. Elizabeth Douglas 3 Apr 1852 Wife of James Douglas
13. Christopher Maxwell 19 Jun 1853 Husband of Sarah Douglas of Orchardton, daughter of James Douglas
14. Mary Douglas Robinson 18 Jun 1854 Great granddaughter of James Douglas
15. Eliza Graham Maitland 22 Dec 1855 Wife of George Douglas, grandson of George Douglas of New York, the brother of William, James and Samuel
16. Charles Lionel Maitland Kirwan 7 Apr 1862 Husband of Matilda Maitland, daughter of Matilda douglas of Almorness
17. Mary Douglas Robinson 8 Feb 1864 Of Almorness;daughter of James Douglas, the brother of William
18. Sarah Douglas Maxwell 28 Mar 1874 Wife of Lt Col Christopher Maxwell, and daughter of James Douglas
19. Rev George Robinson Douglas 30Jan 1878 Son of William Rose Robinson and Mary Douglas of Almorness
20. Matilda Elizabeth Maitland Kirwan 13 Dec 1880 Daughter of William Maitland and Matilda Douglas of Gelston
21. Matilda Maitland 31 Oct 1887 Daughter of James Douglas
22. Charles Lionel Maitland Kirwan 11 Nov 1889 Capt RN, son of Capt RN Charles Kirwan and Matilda Maitland
23. James Douglas Robinson 13 Jul 1894 Son of William Rose Robinson and Mary Douglas of Almorness
24. Lionel Fitzgerald Maitland Kirwan ? 1951 Capt RN, grandson of William Maitland and Matilda Douglas of Gelston
25. Winifred Maitland Kirwan 23 Mar 1965 Wife of Capt Lionel Maitland (the last family member interred in the Mausoleum)

Architect unknown. Built circa 1820 for James Douglas (brother of Sir William Douglas of Gelston and Castle Douglas) by his son William Douglas of Orchardton. Trotter in his East Galloway Skethes claims it to be the work of William Douglas of Orchardton working in collaboration with William Hugh Williams a noteable landscape artist of the time. More likely perhaps is that it is the work of Dumfries architect, Walter Newall, as his sketch books contain designs for mausolea in a similar style. Unique Egypto-Doric style pyramidal mausoleum on raised stepped dais with cubical burial vault below ground. Finely jointed cream sandstone polished ashlar, crisp detailing. Ramped doorways to each face, simply architraved with blocked supported by pair of fluted Doric columns flanking ramped architraved doorpiece.

Above the door a coat of arms, presumably the Douglasses of Castle Douglas. All doors ramped with studded panels.

Delicately carved triglyph and metope frieze, deeply overhanging cornice with anthemion motifs to underside of angles. From this cornice rises another deeply projecting cornice to give double pagoda roofline, upper cornice with scalloped edge, square stone finial to top. Burial vault reached by steep narrow straight stair laid in naval style with steps alternatively square and triangular. Marble plaques over tombs.

Coped pair of ashlar gatepiers with elaborate and decorative early 19th century cast-and wrought iron and railings.

Spearhead cast-iron railings surround tomb.

William Douglas of Orchardton, who was an MP, was better known as William of Almorness. He travelled around Europe with Hugh Williams.

In 2006, the Castle Douglas Common Good Fund spent £3,000 making good damage to the fencing damaged by a lorry. Attempts to get Historic Scotland to take the mausoleum into its care have failed.

Nov 8 2007 

CASTLE DOUGLAS Community Council are hoping a new booklet providing information about an historic town landmark can be published next summer.
The Kelton Mausoleum houses 24 members of the Douglas family including the body of Sir William Douglas, the founder of the town, who died nearly 200 years ago.
But local councillors believe a lot more can be done to highlight what could prove to be a tourist attraction.
Town resident Leslie Scarborough has spent his own time and money researching the Douglas family tree in order to find the mausoleum’s owners.
But the pensioner has been unable to pin down someone who will take responsibility for the building.
Until owners are found, no funding applications can be made to agencies like Historic Scotland which will assist continued maintenance and repairs.
Mr Scarborough recommended that Castle Douglas Community Council should take ownership and set-up a ‘Friends of the Mausoleum’ group in order to attract cash grants.
He also highlighted a lack of interest in the site - and believes it could become the town’s greatest asset.
Current rules mean the Land Registry won’t recognise the community council as owners for at least ten years.
The situation was discussed at a community council meeting at the town hall last week.
And chair Fiona MacGregor reckons a step forward would be letting people know exactly what the building represents.
“I think we need a board with some information up there so visitors and walkers are told what it is,” she said.
“I also think we could help by publishing a leaflet or booklet and making it available at the local tourist information centre.
“We could have something like that ready by the summer.”
Community Councillor Mary Lamont told the meeting that Castle Douglas Rotary Club have indicated a willingness to donate towards minor expenses.
“A lot of people enjoy walking around that area,” she said. “But there needs to be more information about the family published. There would be a lot of interest.
“At the moment the mausoleum can’t get funding from anywhere because no-one owns it.”
Castle Douglas and Glenkens councillor Peter Duncan reckons the information booklet would be a real step forward.
He said: “These are all steps in the right direction.
“And it appears that everybody wants to play their part in preserving this building for the future.
“At some point we will have to sit down and find a way of resolving the issue over ownership.
“A decade is a long time for ownership to be awarded to an organisation.
“But we don’t want a situation where in ten years we are saying ‘we wish we had done something ten years ago.’”

New booklet could highlight tourist spot



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