Time capsule sealed into Mausoleum

Published: Friday 3 December 2021

This image shows a view of the Hamilton Mausoleum

A time capsule has been sealed into a grate at one of South Lanarkshire’s most significant cultural landmarks.

Work is progressing well on the repairs to Hamilton Mausoleum, one of the town’s most famous buildings.

And before the scaffolding surrounding the dome-shaped building was dropped to a lower level, the time capsule was put in a grate at a high level.

During a site visit, Bobby Miller, Clerk of Works for Housing and Technical Resources, came up with the idea and liaised with Sharon Paton, Museum Officer (Collections) for South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) to fill the capsule with some materials relevant to the current time.

The capsule contains:

  • Some recent photos of the Mausoleum under scaffold from a recent site meeting
  • Some Scottish election material from the Scottish Parliament elections in 2020 and an information letter to shielding people from the Scottish Government about voting arrangements and staying safe.
  • Covid pandemic leaflets, A4 posters used by SLLC/SLC in facilities about face, hands, etc. and Scottish Government letters to shielding individuals about food deliveries etc. during lockdown.
  • A pack of face masks and a Covid testing kit minus the chemical capsule.
  • A one pound coin.
  • A note about global warming and the extreme weather, the pandemic of 2020-21, the UK leaving the EU, COP26
  • A copy of the Hamilton Advertiser from w/c 1 November 2021

Work is due to be completed early in the new year when the Mausoleum will return to a visitor attraction, which provides a unique venue that in recent years has hosted modern and classical music performances, art installations and even the recording of a suite of classical music specifically composed for its unique acoustics.

Chair of the Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor John Anderson, said: “The time capsule was a really good idea and has lots of examples to show a period in time that will go down in history, given the pandemic we have had to live with for almost two years.

“It was also great to see the progress being made at the iconic Hamilton Mausoleum, and we are committed to its preservation as a cultural treasure for both the local community and the whole country.”

Chair of SLLC, Councillor Peter Craig, said: “I am looking forward to when the works are complete and the Mausoleum is returned to its rightful place as one of the great visitor attractions in South Lanarkshire.

“The work has included the replacement of the lead and guttering on both the flat roofs and dome and essential stone repairs, which were showing signs of water ingress.”

Built in the grounds of the now-demolished Hamilton Palace, the dome-shaped building was built as a tomb and monument to Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, nicknamed 'El Magnifico', but was incomplete at the time of his death in 1852.

The unique structure of the building provides amazing acoustics, and the echo inside the Mausoleum can last for around 15 seconds – one of the longest in the world.