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Rolvenden War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Rolvenden, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0509 / 51°3'3"N

Longitude: 0.6306 / 0°37'50"E

OS Eastings: 584472

OS Northings: 131237

OS Grid: TQ844312

Mapcode National: GBR QWD.46T

Mapcode Global: FRA D66B.PH0

Entry Name: Rolvenden War Memorial

Listing Date: 1 August 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1381140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 481500

Location: Rolvenden, Ashford, Kent, TN17

County: Kent

District: Ashford

Civil Parish: Rolvenden

Built-Up Area: Rolvenden

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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First World War memorial, 1922, by Sir Edwin Lutyens.


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 26/10/2015

The memorial is an atypical Lutyens design in the form of a tall, notably slender, cross of Clipsham stone standing on an octagonal plinth. That in turn is set on a base of three, circular, stone steps. Metal plaques on the plinth carry the inscriptions: AT THE/ GOING DOWN/ OF THE SUN/ AND IN/ THE MORNING/ WE WILL REMEMBER/ THEM/ (NAMES).

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, 28 November 2016


Rolvenden’s war memorial was discussed at a meeting of the parish War Memorial Committee on 10 January 1919. This was chaired by Harold ‘Jack’ Tennant, for whom Lutyens had designed the nearby house Great Maytham and who contributed substantially to the subscription fund. A site alongside the church was identified, and an old carpenter’s shop which occupied it was purchased and demolished. Lutyens was approached in December 1919, and visited in summer 1920.

Acquisition of the site had greatly reduced the funds available, and it was this which led to the request from the committee to Lutyens for a simple design. A wooden mock-up of what he proposed was erected, the design refined, and an estimate of £215 obtained from Messrs Wallis of Maidstone for construction. There were then delays, with strong feeling among the parish’s 60 ex-servicemen against the co-location of the memorial alongside the church. In the event objections were set aside, and construction began in mid-1922. The eventual cost was £255, plus Lutyens’ 10 per cent and £6 out-of-pocket expenses. The memorial was unveiled on 8 November 1922 by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sir Edwin Lutyens OM RA (1869-1944) was the leading English architect of his generation. Before the First World War his reputation rested on his country houses and his work at New Delhi, but during and after the war he became the pre-eminent architect for war memorials in England, France and the British Empire. While the Cenotaph in Whitehall (London) had the most influence on other war memorials, the Thiepval Arch was the most influential on other forms of architecture. He designed the Stone of Remembrance which was placed in all Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and in some cemeteries in England, including some with which he was not otherwise associated.

Reasons for Listing

Rolvenden War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principle reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the First World War;
* Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944), who designed extant 58 memorials at home and abroad including the Cenotaph in Whitehall;
* Design: a notably tall, spare, cross;
* Group value: with the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary, and with the Grade II-listed row of C16 and later cottages 8-22 Hastings Road.

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