Monday 18 December 2023



I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire...I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.        William Faulkner

Mausoleums are an alternative type of memorial, built as free-standing monuments to house the remains of the deceased. This type of memorial dates back to 350BC, where deceased Egyptian kings were laid to rest in the pyramids. Burying the deceased in a mausoleum is known as “entombment”. The Taj Mahal in India is the most famous mausoleum in the world, built by an emperor to honor his favorite wife.

Things have changed in the Christian era. It is traditional to pay respect to one’s dear departed. There are many ways of doing so, and Christians generally bury their lost relative in a solemn ceremony. Memories tend to fade with time, but a visit to the grave the deceased brings back cherished memories since the burial spot generally has a headstone with memory invoking inscriptions thereon. Many Americans opt for mausoleums, depending on the cost factor. Factors that affect cost are quality, with marble the most expensive and concrete the least; decorative work thereon; size and location.The cost of mausoleum for a small individual one is markedly different from the cost of a mausoleum designed to inter generations of a family. A lot of legwork is needed to carry out a research for a mausoleum that meets your criteria. Construction costs should also be reasonable. Mausoleum cemeteries generally offer a large community mausoleum, which would cost under ten thousand dollars since the overall cost would be shared between a fair number of families. Some cemeteries offer space for private mausoleums, which could cost upwards of 100,000$. Interestingly, the only legal way to keep the remains of the deceased on premises is to erect a mausoleum.

A crypt is a burial spot, built to hold a casket in a concrete or stone chamber. It is generally placed beneath the floor, or in the wall of a church, chapel or cathedral. Crypts were originally located beneath churches as early as 600 A.D., one of the most famous being the Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.  The concrete or stone chambers in a mausoleum, where the caskets are placed and sealed, are called wall crypts. A lawn crypt, also known as an underground mausoleum, consists of pre-installed vaults that allow for stacked coffins in a cemetery lawn space. A lawn crypt may be made up of several vaults laid horizontally to allow for family members to be buried together. A mausoleum crypt is the chamber within the mausoleum that holds the burial remains, be they cremation urns instead of or as well as caskets. The size of the crypt determines the number of individuals that can be interred in the mausoleum.

A private family mausoleum is an architectural tribute to a family and its heritage. It is a private and sheltered place where you can honor your family members who have passed on. Private family mausoleum may not suit every family, but of late, the demand for mausoleums has increased. If your family is considering such a mausoleum, a lot of legwork is again needed to carry out a research on the type of talented artisans and craftsmen who have the experience necessary to create this kind of memorial. When considering a family mausoleum, it is often helpful to look at a number of different details as you decide on your family needs. They provide families clean interment and a private space for loved ones to visit. Mausoleums can be purchased before they are needed providing reduction of estate taxes and the ability to make a sound and well considered investment.

Advantages of Choosing a Mausoleum Memorial

There are many advantages of choosing a mausoleum to venerate your loved one:

  • Cleaner and dryer than an exposed grave
  • Ideal option for people who prefer not to be buried underground
  • Opportunity to purchase one burial site for family members instead of scattered graves
  • Indoor mausoleums allow family and friends to visit in comfort, as the crypt is protected from the weather
  • Mausoleums also work well in areas of low elevation where the ground is too wet or unstable for graves and caskets. For example, New Orleans is famous for historic above-ground cemeteries as the city’s water table is very high and the area is prone to flooding.

Talking with family and friends before choosing your loved one’s memorial can help you understand if it’s right for them. If you know the deceased didn’t want an underground burial, then a mausoleum memorial could be the right option.

Mausoleum Burial Locations

If you decide you would like a mausoleum, the next step is to consider the burial location.

Churchyards and cemeteries have different rules about the kinds of memorials they allow. Some smaller churchyards may not have the space for mausoleums, or allow them at all, so it’s important to understand the restrictions to avoid being disappointed. Your local Funeral Director will be able to provide guidance on this.

How to Choose a Mausoleum

When choosing the mausoleum, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Types of mausoleum crypts
  • Material
  • Personalising a mausoleum

Types of Mausoleum Crypts

There are many different types of mausoleum available. To start, you’ll need to choose between an indoor mausoleum or an outdoor mausoleum, and whether you’d like it in a public or private location. You’ll then be able to choose the type:

  • Single crypt: Built to contain the remains of one body.
  • Family mausoleum: Built to contain any number of bodies, ideal for burying one family together.
  • Companion crypt: Built to contain two bodies, like double-depth graves.
  • Columbarium: Like mausoleums, except the niches (wall spaces for bodies) are much smaller, built to contain urns of ashes.
  • Lawn crypts: Underground mausoleums, built to offer traditional in-ground burials with entombment.
  • Sarcophagus mausoleums: Half underground and half above ground, built to keep the body below the crypt.


Granite mausoleums are durable and can be built using different colours and shades. You may choose a white or pale grey granite for the mausoleum’s structure, but a black granite door to finish. Granite mausoleums also have a lower building cost than other materials.

Marble mausoleums are costlier, but their appearance can be worth it. Their creamy finish is much softer than granite.

Personalising a mausoleum

There are lots of ways to personalise a mausoleum. You can have inscriptions added to the roof or walls, or on the front door. If more than one family member is buried in the mausoleum, you can add memorial plaques detailing the names of the deceased.

It’s important to understand the rules and regulations that affect the wording you can include on your mausoleum. These may differ depending on the location you choose. Your local Funeral Director will be able to help you understand what you can and cannot include.

If you’re having memorial jewellery created to commemorate the deceased, you could match any inscriptions to the mausoleum itself. Some family members feel this is a nice way to stay connected to their loved ones who have passed away.


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