Skip to main content

Mahdi's tomb, 1898

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3042C/150

Scope and Contents

150 x 115 mm. A view looking across the mihrab towards the shell pocked tomb of the Mahdi. This damage was done during the bombardment of September 1st, the day before the battle, with howitzers firing 50lb shells using the new high explosive 'Lyddite'. The tomb, a beehive shaped building decorated inside in green and chocolate brown, was erected by the Khalifa. Around the tomb itself were protective railings taken from the Austrian Mission Church. Kitchener realising the potency of the tomb as an object of veneration among the Sudanese, ordered its destruction and the throwing of the Mahdi's bones into the Nile. This demolition was undertaken by Major W.S. Gordon, General Gordon's nephew. Kitchener later ordered the Mahdi's head to be buried at Wadi Halfa. The tomb itself has since been rebuilt and many Sudanese believe it to still contain the Mahdi's remains. The photograph is stuck on to an album page entitled 'Omdurman'.


  • Creation: 1898


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Related Materials

For another image of the mihrab see Y3042C/125. For images of the Austrian Mission Church see Y3042C/157-158.



Finding aid date

2003-11-12 12:20:31+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom