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Cooper Mausoleum, County Westmeath
15403304
General view over banks.
Reg. No.15403304
Date1810 - 1830
Previous NameN/A
TownlandKILBRIDE
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates243540, 244353
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL
RatingRegional
Original Usemausoleum
In Use Asmausoleum
 
Description
Freestanding mausoleum, erected c.1819, comprising two concentric earthen banks with a rectangular chamber to the centre constructed of dressed limestone. Cut stone revetment walls to outer face of outer bank and to inner face of inner bank. Entrance through outer bank through a pointed arched open to the east side. Entrance through inner bank and into chamber through a pointed-arched opening and passage on the west side. Stepped roof to chamber with brick-vaulting to the interior. Inner walls lined with rubble limestone with brick dressings to the openings. Pointed-arched window opening with chamfered surround to east face of vault with loop hole openings to the centre of north and south faces. Small opening above doorcase to west allows light of setting sun into chamber. Marble plinth to centre of chamber, on square-plan, with carved (veiled) marble urn over. Inscription to plinth reads 'Joshua Harry. Second Son of Edward Synge Cooper of Markee Castle in the County of Sligo by Anne his wife. Eldest daughter of the late Harry Verelst. Formerly Governor of Bengal. Nat June 25th 1799. Obit. Feb 5th 1819'. Located to the south of the ruins of Dunboben Park (15403303).

Appraisal

A very interesting early nineteenth-century mausoleum associated with the Cooper Family of Dunboden Park (15403303). This curious and elaborate feature is built to resemble the appearance of a prehistoric tomb and even has an opening over the doorcase that allows the light of the setting sun to illuminate the inner chamber in much the same fashion as is found at the Neolithic passage tomb at Newgrange, Co. Meath. This mausoleum is cleverly constructed to make a drama out of getting into the chamber in the first place and has a very strong romantic character, a character now reinforced by its present overgrown condition. The chamber itself is very well-built using good quality limestone while the marble plinth and urn are of high artistic merit. This intriguing feature represents one of the most unique additions to the built heritage of Westmeath and forms part of a important collection of structures associated with Dunboden Park (15403303), which lies in ruins to the north.
 
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