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We forced ourselves out of the house early today, before lassitude sets in, and walked a couple of miles around Welton Vale – not strenuous, but enough that we can say that we have done something.
Our journey took us past the Raikes Mausoleum, which we saw on our visit last year. In the intervening time, a large hole has appeared – big enough for a small person to climb in and down to the crypt. I’m not sure what you would find down there. I’m also not sure that I would like to find out.
It’s a real shame to see it fall into disrepair. There are, according to the experts, very few mausoleums of this type left – and the Raikes family has an interesting history.
The ground floor was sealed up in the 1960s after repeated break-ins and desecration, and will probably stay that way. There isn’t any information online about the interior. This listing on Historic England describes the exterior:
Mausoleum. 1818 for Sir Robert Raikes. Limestone ashlar. Circular plan: probably a copy of a Roman model. Tall single storey on basement. Rusticated base with segmental openings to basement. Eight steps to sealed, rendered and lined doorway in architrave: scrolled brackets to projecting cornice over frieze of bay leaves and garlands. Over the door is a corniced panel with the inscription “AEDIFICAVIT ROBERTUS RAIKES ARMIGER AD MDCCCXVIII”. Around the building are 8 Doric pilasters dividing it into bays: each alternate bay blind. Other bays have projecting panels with cornice and blocking course carrying sarcophagi in low relief: above are ventilation holes in sunk corniced panels. Frieze of triglyphs and guttae: Doric cornice, blocking course, and stepped ashlar dome. The building is enclosed by a circular flagged area defined by a dwarf wall, once carrying iron railings (now removed).
I was in my home town today – for work, rather than anything interesting. I took the opportunity to drive to the top of Olivers Mount and looked down upon the town of my birth. From up here, I can see the first twenty-five years of my life spread out before me. Down there is the house that I grew up in, the place that I first kissed a girl, my schools, the old railway yard that my friends and I explored and the beaches that we roamed.
I moved away from Scarborough in 2005. I was twenty-four years old and felt ready to leave it in the dust. For a long time before, and after, I hung all the baggage of my childhood and adolescence on this place: my parents’ divorce, the loss of my mum and grandparents, relationship breakdowns, broken friendships – all of it. I hung it neatly and then left it behind. So long suckers. Adios. I actively avoided the place In the intervening years. Scarborough became a dirty word.
Lately, I’ve begun to feel different about it. The good memories are the ones I think of first, and the bad ones no longer weigh me down. When I come back to Scarborough now, it just feels like home.
The statue is named ‘Diving Belle’ and represents the beginning of Scarborough’s popularity as a destination for bathers. She stands outside the old lighthouse, looking out to the sea.