Gas Stations of the Past - Part Three

Mausoleum design suggests engineered gas creation, storage and management. Sat 04 December 2021

Inside the Philipson mausoleum, Hoop Lane cemetery, London. Source

Valves and drains show up surprisingly often in mausoleums:

Possible valve assembly lying in front of the Dennis mausoleum, Clonbern, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. Source

The valve used to be on top of the Dennis mausoleum:

Dennis mausoleum before assembly was removed, Clonbern, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. Source

You're not looking at a pump valve. You're looking at a release valve.

It uses the same principle as a water pump valve:

Valve technology was everywhere. Source

Lighter-than-air gas flowed out automatically when the valve is opened. The assembly did not have a water spout because gas flowed out of the valve-top.

The valve was probably opened by rigid, weighted ring at the bottom of the balloon or dirigible's refill tube. When the tube was lowered over the valve, the ring would have eventually pushed the valve handle in, releasing the gas to flow up the tube.

In case, you are wondering, cast iron doesn't produce sparks.

In London, the Courtoy mausoleum shows evidence of gas valves having been removed:

Bolt-holes around the occuli of the Courtoy mausoleum, Brompton cemetery, London. Source

Note the bronze door. Bronze does not produce sparks.

Although its technology has gone, local folklore claims the Courtoy mausoleum enabled teleportation or time travel.


Some 'folklore' was created to disguise old technologies. More evidence of the technique is shown across the 'Ice Age Sites of Britain's Serpents' series. Starting at Ice Age Sites of Britain's Serpents.

Unlike hot air balloons, gas balloons used to be filled through long fabric tubes:

Balloon display, Paris Air Show, September 1909. Source:

That 'mausoleums' sometimes contained drainable water-baths is most obvious at the Philipson mausoleum at Hoop Lane cemetery in Golders Green, London:

Interior floor of the Philipson mausoleum, Golders Green, London. Source: The London Dead

The greenish central structure is a bowl-shaped drain, plughole without a plug. It sits in the centre of a large circular bath that occupies most of the mausoleum's floor:

Philipson mausoleum funnel drain. Source: Simon White

Obviously, the Philipson mausoleum collected rainwater in a bath and drained it. Why let rainwater in in the first place? A bit strange for a mausoleum, no?

In fact, water collection structures show up in the most unexpected places. The top of Ely Cathedral's towers, for example:

Water funnel at the top of Ely Cathedral tower, Cambridgeshire, England. Source

It's hard to tell how common this bath-plus-drain structure may be. But there are clues. If you're collecting water, you have to drain excess water:

Apparent drain hole at the side of the Dartrey mausoleum, Black Island, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Source

Plans for the Philipson mausoleum structure in Surrey County Council's archive show the drain was designed to maintain water in the bath. To keep it one-third full:

Drain on the left; level control on the right. Source: Surrey County Council

The bath is the single largest container in the Philipson structure. It turned rainwater and - presumably - 'bio-waste' into a shallow, artificial marsh. The marsh produced lighter-than-air hydrogen and methane gases which collected under the dome at the top of the structure.

The Philipson mausoleum was a marsh-oleum.

Ireland's Cooke Mausoleum also looks better designed for collecting water and swamping internments than for preserving them:

Cooke mausoleum, Reynella, Ireland. Source

It would help if you could find the door:

Possibly the Cooke mausoleum's door; possibly just damage. Source

The Cooke mausoleum looks remarkably like the water-bath part of a biodigester. More suited to producing gas via anaerobic bio-digestion than for protecting the slow and stately decay of loved ones.

More on anaerobic decomposition:

Like some other mausuleums, Dartrey's internal furniture focuses on flying and 'ascension'.

Dartrey mausoleum, interior inscription. Source

Alchemical meaning:

Ferment excess children and you too can fly like an angel.

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