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Lenton War Memorial, adjacent to The Albert Ball Memorial Homes

A Grade II* Listed Building in Nottingham, Nottingham

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Latitude: 52.9464 / 52°56'47"N

Longitude: -1.1786 / 1°10'42"W

OS Eastings: 455290

OS Northings: 339094

OS Grid: SK552390

Mapcode National: GBR LGR.WY

Mapcode Global: WHDGY.V6YK

Plus Code: 9C4WWRWC+HH

Entry Name: Lenton War Memorial, adjacent to The Albert Ball Memorial Homes

Listing Date: 30 November 1995

Last Amended: 2 May 2017

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1246782

English Heritage Legacy ID: 455835

Location: Lenton and Wollaton, Nottingham, NG7

County: Nottingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Dunkirk and Lenton

Built-Up Area: Nottingham

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Lenton

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham

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First World War memorial erected 1919 by the inhabitants of Lenton.


First World War memorial erected 1919 by the inhabitants of Lenton.

Materials: a metal cross on a column of Portland stone and a base of stone with bronze plaques to each face.
The memorial stands in a prominent location at the junction between Sherwin Road and Church Street, Lenton, in a small circular memorial garden, and forms the focal point for the Albert Ball Memorial Homes (NHLE 1246781) which were built behind, three years later. The memorial, the Memorial Homes and the boundary walls and railings combine to form an evocative and elegant composition.

A tall, fluted ionic column of Portland stone, square in plan with a moulded base and cornice, stands on a square pedestal with bronze plaques to each side and a cruciform base of two steps. The whole is surmounted by a bronze cross with sunburst carving.

The inscription on the front plaque reads TO THE GLORIOUS AND UNDYING MEMORY OF THE/ MEN OF LENTON / WHOSE NAMES ARE HERETO AFFIXED WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR/ THEIR COUNTY'S HONOUR AND FREEDOM IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918/ THIS MEMORIAL IS ERECTED BY THE INHABITANTS OF LENTON 1919/ (Names). The 287 names are continued on plaques on the north and south face of the plinth. The plaque to the rear of the base provides a key to the abbreviations used on the memorial.

Subsidiary features: the boundary walls, railings and gateways surrounding the gardens and war memorial are separately listed at Grade II* within the listing of The Albert Ball Memorial Homes (NHLE 1246781).


The organised public commemoration of war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then, memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

Lenton War Memorial is one such example, erected in 1919 by the inhabitants of Lenton in memory of those men from the parish who lost their lives during the First World War. A total of 287 names are listed on the memorial with their surnames and regiment. Included on the list is Albert Ball, Britain’s most famous First World War fighter pilot, and presumably the reason for his father commissioning the building of the Memorial Homes to the east (NHLE 1246781) behind the memorial, three years after the construction of the monument. The Memorial Homes and boundary walls were designed by the architects Arthur Brewill and Basil Baily, and they have used the memorial as a focal point, at the end of the triangular garden. The memorial aligns with the central portico of the homes and the eye is drawn along the paving leading from the porch to the memorial while the wrought-iron gates provide an ornate entrance without impairing the view from the homes. It has not, however, been possible to confirm if Brewill and Baily were also responsible for the memorial, nor whether the ensemble was conceived as a whole, completed over a period of three years, or as two separate projects.

The memorial was first listed in November 1995. In 2008 the War Memorial Trust gave a grant of £1000 to undertake conservation works including steam cleaning of the masonry and bronze plaques; to remove copper stains on the stonework; re-pointing of defective joints with lime mortar; replacing corroding railings and repainting of the railings and improving the paving. Some of the works were carried out by local volunteers and air cadets.

Reasons for Listing

Lenton War Memorial, adjacent to The Albert Ball Memorial Homes, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: an imposing, architecturally ambitious, and finely detailed war memorial that combines both artistic and architectural qualities of more than special interest;

* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20 and for its association with Albert Ball, Britains leading First World War fighter pilot;

* Group value: as a key focal point of a wider memorial landscape, including the Albert Ball Memorial Homes, also listed at Grade II*, creating an architectural composition of more than special interest.

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