Hamilton Mausoleum – Hamilton, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Hamilton Mausoleum

Hamilton, Scotland

A magnificent tomb that was the final resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton. 


Alexander Hamilton—the 10th Duke of Hamilton, not the American Founding Father—wanted something fancy for himself and his family to be interred after death. By 1842, construction on his elaborate tomb had already begun with the assistance of architect David Hamilton.

Construction on the Hamilton Mausoleum cost around £33,000 and was one of the most expensive buildings of its time. The mausoleum is complete with marble floors, massive bronze doors, three massive archway entrances, two huge lion sculptures at the front entrance, and stands well over 100 feet tall (around 36 meters). 

Sadly, Hamilton, also known as El Magnifico, never got to see his finished masterpiece. He died around 1852, while the mausoleum wouldn’t be finished until 1858. Hamilton was very intrigued by the Egyptian mummification process and had his body interred in a Ptolemaic period Egyptian sarcophagus. In 1921, the building suffered subsidence and flooding forcing all the bodies to be moved to Bent Cemetery. 

The mausoleum is also known for holding the world record for the longest echo sustained in any manmade structure. Sounds inside can reverberate for 15 seconds around the mausoleum. The architects also installed an early form of heated floors, so that mourners would be able to pay their respects even during the winter months. 

Update as of September 2021: The mausoleum is undergoing extensive maintenance and is clad in scaffolding.

Know Before You Go

You can visit this amazing memorial any day of the week and view it from the outside. Viewings of the interior are held on the first and third Sundays of the month. Tickets must be booked two days in advance either by contacting the website or phoning Lowparks Museum. 


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October 1, 2019

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