“The Tombs of Lord Leverhulme and his wife, Port Sunlight, with sculpture” by Sir William Goscombe John

Tombs of Lord Leverhulme and his wife, with sculpture” by William Goscombe John

The tombs of Lord Leverhulme (d. 1925) and his wife (d. 1913) , feature Goscombe John’s bronze effigies on black marble tombs with his bronze figures of children at their base. A loggia or narthex built against the west wall of Christ Church, Port Sunlight, houses the tombs. Goscombe John paid his final tribute to his friends and patrons with these peaceful-looking effigies and the sculpture at their feet. The couple left only a grown-up son, and had no grandchildren at the time of Lady Lever's death, so the children may be taken to represent a general sense of loss. The tableau is very true to life: the little boy looks anxiously up at his stricken sister, as if not understanding the reason for her grief. The flower garland as usual reminds us of the transience of youth and beauty. Originally at the base of Lady Lever's tomb, the sculpture was moved to its current position after Lord Leverhulme's death (see Hubbard and Shippobottom 79). The serene and solemn atmosphere here is much enhanced by the Gothic loggia, designed for this purpose in 1905, though built only after the first death. It was the work of William and Segar Owen, the same architects who had completed Christ Church itself in 1904.

Left two: Children at the foot of the tomb. Right: The outside of the loggia, which is the low structure to the left. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Photograph, caption and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Hubbard, Edward, and Michael Shippobottom. A Guide to Port Sunlight Village, Including Two Tours of the Village. 2nd ed. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005.

Last modified 1 August 2009