The Hamilton Mausoleum is probably the most recognised erection on the Lanarkshire skyline. Building began in 1842 at the instruction of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, who modestly liked to be referred to as ‘El Magnifico’. The Mausoleum is actually a chapel with a burial chamber in the crypt. Unfortunately, once work was completed, the chapel was entirely unusable due to an anomaly of the architectural design – the interior produced a marked echo; indeed, at fourteen seconds, it is the longest echo in Europe. Within the chapel there is a black marble sarcophagus, bought in Egypt by Alexander in preparation for his eventual death and interment. Not put off by the original occupant being somewhat shorter than he, the Duke had the sarcophagus interior carved out further to accommodate his height. Here he remained, while seventeen of his ancestors lay buried in the vault below, until the coffins were finally removed to a nearby cemetery after the vault flooded. Originally, the Mausoleum stood within the grounds of the Hamilton Palace, built in 1695 and demolished in 1921 because of subsidence. The Mausoleum is all that remains now, apart from the Chatelherault hunting lodge high above Hamilton, with its line of vision looking directly down toward the Mausoleum, once a marked by rows of trees connecting the two.
This is a reworking of an archived shot, converted into monochrome to accentuate the tones and contrasts. I have also used graduated blurring to give the effect of a tilt and shift lens and to draw the eye to the Mausoleum itself.
This is one of the statues to be found in Hamilton; this particular shot of it looks up at the statue at a marked angle because a restaurant has been built directly behind the statue, making a decent shot of it almost impossible. This is actually the back of the statue because a similar view of the front necessarily includes the restaurant entrance, no matter how you try to exclude it.
I’m not a huge fan of modern art and know very little about it. However, it seemed fairly evident that the statue is intended to portray a figure – standing there in splendid isolation (if you ignore the restaurant), with arms wide open.
Detail of the gravestone marking the resting place of the heads of the Four Covenanters, in Hamilton Old Parish Church. The inscription on the tombstone reads –
At Hamilton lie the heads of John Parker, Gavin Hamilton, James Hamilton and Christopher Strang; who suffered at Edinburgh Dec 7th 1666. Stay passenger, take notice What thou reads! At Edinburgh lie our bodies, Here, our heads; Our right hands stood at Lanark – These we want. Because with them, we swore The Covenant.
This was an old image from my archives which I reprocessed. The image had a lot of potential for processing in different ways and while the original colour version was fine, I preferred it in monochrome. The trick was doing it in such a way that the building detail was accentuated. Silver Efex Pro to the rescue.
The avenue leading to the Mausoleum. I liked the orange highlights provided by the leaves, and how these drew my eye along the path and right to the building itself, which echoed the same tones as the leaves.