National Trust of Guyana

Burnham’s Mausoleum

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Location: Botanical Gardens, Georgetown

Classification: Burial & Commemorative Monument

Period/ Year Built: 1986

Historical Background / Description:

Burnham’s Mausoleum, located in the Botanical Gardens, next to the Place of the Seven Ponds, is the resting place of President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, one of Guyana’s most influential political leaders. Born on February 20, 1923, he was the son of James Ethelbert Burnham and Rachel Abigail Sampson. Forbes Burnham served as Prime Minister of Guyana from 1964 until he became the first Executive President in 1980. He held the office of the Presidency until his death on August 6, 1985. The mausoleum was designed by renowned Guyanese architect Mr. George Henry and it is described as having a crucifix shape when viewed from above. It was completed in 1986 and was built mainly of reinforced concrete along with other local materials. 

The floor of the mausoleum is made from granite which was sourced from the Upper Essequibo and Mazaruni districts. Burnham’s tomb is situated in the centre and the four sides are decorated with glass briquettes which were manufactured locally by the Glass Factory. The base of the tomb is crafted from greenheart and the western face carries the motif of the Presidential Standard used by the Former President. On the southern and western ends of the structure, there are two large bronze panels which were designed by renowned sculptor Mr. Ivor Thom. The panels illustrate aspects of Mr. Burnham’s life including some of his achievements.