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Darwen War Memorial

A Grade II* Listed Building in Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen

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Latitude: 53.6923 / 53°41'32"N

Longitude: -2.472 / 2°28'19"W

OS Eastings: 368929

OS Northings: 421860

OS Grid: SD689218

Mapcode National: GBR CT5R.M5

Mapcode Global: WH978.0G49

Entry Name: Darwen War Memorial

Listing Date: 27 September 1984

Last Amended: 4 April 2017

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1072435

English Heritage Legacy ID: 184679

Location: Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen, BB3

County: Blackburn with Darwen

Civil Parish: Darwen

Built-Up Area: Darwen

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Darwen St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Listing Text


4/8 War Memorial
- II

War Memorial, c.1920. Ashlar with bronze panels and statue. Raised on
3 steps, with a square base and plinth, a tall square pier with moulded
foot and cap, surmounted by a moulded tapering circular pedestal bearing a
large bronze statue of a running angel with wings aloft. Front face of
pillar lettered "... to the honour of over 1200 citizens of this town who
gave their lives in the Great War 1914 - 1918. And those who died in the
war of 1939 - 1945"; other three sides have inlaid bronze relief panels
depicting a soldier; a sailor, and a nurse, the plinth beneath these
lettered respectively HONOUR, FREEDOM, HUMANITY.

Listing NGR: SD6893021860

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 2 February 2017.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.


First World War memorial. Erected 1921 by the Municipal Borough of Darwen. Bronze sculpture by LF Roslyn.


First World War memorial. Erected 1921 by the Municipal Borough of Darwen. Bronze sculpture by LF Roslyn.

MATERIALS: Bronze statue on sandstone pedestal.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands on a paved five-stepped platform near the north-east entrance to Bold Venture Park (laid out 1889-1914), where it can be viewed to its greatest advantage against the backdrop of a lake surrounded by mature trees.

The memorial consists of a tall, square sandstone ashlar pedestal on a stepped base, surmounted by a statue of winged Victory standing on a globe, holding a laurel wreath aloft in her left hand and an olive branch in her right. The pedestal has a deep cornice, and a torus and cavetto moulding above the plinth.
The front (south) face of the pedestal is inscribed: IN GRATEFUL / MEMORY / AND TO THE HONOUR / OF / OVER 1200 CITIZENS / OF / THIS TOWN WHO GAVE / THEIR LIVES IN THE / GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1918 / AND THOSE WHO DIED / IN THE WAR OF / 1939 – 1945. Above this is a carved relief of the Darwen Borough arms flanked by inverted torches.

The west, north and east faces have inset bronze reliefs of figures comprising, respectively, an infantryman, a nurse and a seaman, each panel with a bronze laurel wreath above and a carved inscription beneath: the soldier representing HONOUR, the nurse HUMANITY and the seaman FREEDOM. Dress and weaponry are depicted in detail.

The front face of the plinth is inscribed: LEST WE FORGET; the west: IS IT NOTHING TO YOU / ALL YE WHO PASS BY (a quotation from Lamentations 1:12); the north: THEY DIED NOT IN VAIN; and the east: THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.

The sides and rear of the platform are enclosed by a series of short tapering posts, four to the sides and two to the rear, the terminal posts with carved lions. The intervening chains have been removed.

Darwen War Memorial was listed at Grade II in 1984. It stand within Bold Venture Park, a Grade II registered landscape.


The aftermath of the First World War saw an unprecedented wave of public commemoration with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country. One such memorial was designed and sculpted by Louis Frederic Roslyn, and erected in Darwen in 1921.

Darwen War memorial was erected by public subscription and unveiled on 27 September 1921.

Louis Frederick Roslyn (1878-1940) was a London-born sculptor of German ancestry. At the Royal Academy schools he was awarded the Landseer scholarship and a travelling scholarship, becoming a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1914, and a Fellow in 1923. In 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps at the School of Military Aeronautics, around which time he changed his name from Roselieb to Roslyn. Roslyn was one of the most prolific sculptors of British war memorials, which include three others in the vicinity of Darwen: Oswaldtwistle, Rawtenstall and Haslingden; Port Talbot (Wales), Portstewart (Northern Ireland) and Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean.

Darwen War Memorial was listed at Grade II on 27 September 1984. It was damaged by vandals in 2014. The damage was repaired shortly afterwards.

Reasons for Listing

Darwen War Memorial is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Sculptural interest: a distinctive and highly accomplished example of the work of the prominent sculptor LF Roslyn with finely modelled and detailed bronze reliefs and statuary;
* Rarity: it is unusual in depicting a female nurse with equal prominence to servicemen;
* Architectural interest: a well-composed war memorial which takes maximum advantage of its landscaped setting;
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Group value: the memorial occupies a prominent position in Bold Venture Park, a Grade II registered landscape.

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