Duff House Mausoleum
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.
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.
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
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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