Sir John Soane's family tomb in
St Pancras Old Church Gardens. Looks like the traditional British red
telephone box? No coincidence, it influenced Giles Gilbert Scott's winning
design for telephone boxes installed from 1926 onwards. He happened to be
a trustee of Sir John Soane's Museum.
Outstandingly interesting monument by Sir John Soane to his wife, who died
in 1815, extremely Soanesque, with all his originality and all his
foibles. A delicate marble monument beneath a heavy Portland stone canopy.
Four piers with incised Ionic capitals; a pendentive vault carries a
shallow drum encircled by a tail-biting snake (symbol of eternity), with a
pineapple-shaped finial. The tomb is surrounded by a low balustrade with
distinctive acroteria, which also encloses the steps down to the burial
vault. Sir John Summerson suggested that the tomb can be interpreted as
civilization (the monument) within eternity (the surrounding canopy).