Thomas Hope (1769–1831), whose nearby country house, The Deepdene, was demolished as recently as 1967: the company headquarters of the travel firm Kuoni now stand on the site.
Our visit, led by Alexander Bagnall, Countryside Officer at Mole Valley District Council, included a look at the pitch dark interior, the occupied loculi, or coffin bays, illuminated only by a torch. The sealing and burial in the 1950s was intended to be permanent and was done to great effect - the inside of the mausoleum is in pristine condition, having been protected from the elements and the attentions of vandals.
The immediate area, recently cleared of scrub, is something of a blasted heath at the moment but will return to gorse and heather once native species regenerate.
The Monuments and Mausolea Trust is now raising money to restore this remarkable building, all we have left of the work of one of our most intriguing designers. If you would like to help you can donate here.