Sir Richard Francis Burton Arab Tent Mausoleum in Mortlake

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After looking for some interesting sights to see in and around London I came across this very unusual tomb situated in the St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, Mortlake. The Arab tent shaped mausoleum is the resting place of the Great British explorer ‘Sir Richard Francis Burton’, according to Wikipedia he was quite the adventurer (and some!)!

Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890) was a British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African languages.

Finding the site was a simple walk (or ride) along the North Walpole Way path by the side of Mortlake Station train track. And you can even climb up a little ladder in the back to see through a window into the tomb to see the coffins of Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel Arundell & artefacts from his life. Something different to see if your find yourself lost in Mortlake one day!

Sir Richard Francis Burton mausoleum in the shape of an Arab tent at the St Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church in Mortlake


Read about Sir Richard Francis Burton’s life in words by Justin Huntly McCarthy


These stairs at the back of the tomb allow you to look into the resting place of Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel Arundell


The coffins of Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel Arundell can be seen through a window at the back



An adventurous tomb for a world re-known explorer

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