Tuesday, April 02, 2013

William Mackenzie's Pyramid, Church of Saint Andrew, Liverpool

In the churchyard of this Presbyterian church, closed since 1975, stands a pyramid mausoleum dedicated to William Mackenzie. He was born on the 20th of March in 1794 at Nelson, Lancashire and died on 29 October 1851 at his home at 74 Grove Street, Liverpool. Mackenzie was a civil engineer and contractor who worked on canals, tunnels and railways throughout the United Kingdom and parts of Europe.

Legend has it that Mackenzie was a gambler who had a wager with the devil and so asked to be interred seated upright holding a winning hand of cards so Satan couldn't claim his soul after his death.

This seems highly unlikely as the pyramid was commissioned by his younger brother, and sole heir, Edward, in 1868 which was seventeen years after his death. An inscription reads: "In the vault beneath lie the remains of William Mackenzie of Newbie, Dumfriesshire, Esquire who died 29th October 1851 aged 57 years. Also, Mary his wife, who died 19th December 1838 aged 48 years and Sarah, his second wife who died 9th December 1867 aged 60 years. This monument was erected by his Brother Edward as a token of love and affection A.D. 1868. The memory of the just is blessed". Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mackenzie_(contractor)

The day we visited was cold, overcast and light snow was falling. The church is under extensive renovations but I believe it has been decommissioned so more research is needed to find out about its future.

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