The mausoleum is Jacobethan in style; a low square building, constructed in brick, with a stone balustrade containing the text “What man is he/ that liveth/ and shall not/ see death?” When John Higgins remodelled Turvey Abbey in the early 19th century he embellished it with a similar lettered balustrade, surmounted by pinnacles, incorporating material taken from the recently demolished Jacobean mansion at Easton Maudit in Northamptonshire. It is possible that such material was also used in the construction of the mausoleum.
Grade II (England and Wales)
In 1786, the year he was Sheriff of London, Charles Higgins purchased much land in the vicinity of Turvey from the 5th and last Earl of Peterborough. When Charles died in 1792 he left the Manor of Turvey and Turvey Abbey to a nephew, John. Besides being a County Magistrate who became High Sheriff of the County, John Higgins (d.1846) was a keen painter and many of the watercolours he made of the village are now in the County Record Office. He and his wife Theresa (d.1845) were the first members of the family to be buried in the mausoleum, but whether it was he or his son, Charles Longuet Higgins (1806-1885) who built the mausoleum is not clear. The Higgins family continued to use the mausoleum for burials until the 1960s.
Fair. Bits of the balustrade will begin to fall off if it is not re-pointed soon (2002).
BoE: Beds (1968), 160;
VCH: Beds (1908), 2, 111.
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