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Canterbury War Memorial, Buttermarket, Canterbury

A Grade II Listed Building in Canterbury, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2791 / 51°16'44"N

Longitude: 1.0812 / 1°4'52"E

OS Eastings: 614987

OS Northings: 157842

OS Grid: TR149578

Mapcode National: GBR TY2.Q59

Mapcode Global: VHLGM.P3GR

Plus Code: 9F3373HJ+MF

Entry Name: Canterbury War Memorial, Buttermarket, Canterbury

Listing Date: 7 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437667

Location: Canterbury, Kent, CT1

County: Kent

Electoral Ward/Division: Westgate

Built-Up Area: Canterbury

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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War memorial unveiled on 10 October 1921. The architect was Professor Arthur Beresford Pite MA FRIBA and the sculptor was Benjamin Clemens. The bronze tablets were added the following year.


War memoral, unveiled on 10 October 1921. The architect was Professor Arthur Beresford Pite MA FRIBA and the sculptor was Benjamin Clemens. The bronze tablets were added the following year.

MATERIALS: Doulting stone with bronze tablets on an octagonal platform of cobblestones edged by curbing stones and metal railings.

PLAN: runic cross set on a tapering square column with a projecting plinth.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is a stone runic cross on a square pillar. At the top of each face there are recessed figures of St George and representatives of each of the three services. The pillar is decorated by quatrefoil motifs and small heraldic shields around the pillar and there are larger heraldic shields on each face below the figures: St George bears the arms of the City of Canterbury, an airman bears the arms of Kent, a sailor the Archbishop of Canterbury's arms and a soldier the Black Prince's arms.

An incised inscription which runs around the memorial reads: DEDICATED TO THE HONOURED / MEMORY OF THE MEN / OF CANTERBURY WHO FELL IN / THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919. A large rectangular bronze plaque attached to the front face of the pillar reads: IN GRATEFUL / COMMEMORATION / OF THE OFFICERS, / NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS / AND MEN OF CANTERBURY / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR / GOD, KING AND COUNTRY / IN THE GREAT WAR, 1914 – 1919, / THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED / BY THEIR PROUD AND / THANKFUL FELLOW CITIZENS. / “TRUE LOVE BY LIFE / TRUE LOVE BY DEATH IS TRIED / LIVE THOU FOR ENGLAND / WE FOR ENGLAND DIED” / UNVEILED BY / FIELD-MARSHAL THE EARL HAIG / DEDICATED BY / THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY / OCTOBER 10TH 1921 / WRIGHT HUNT, MAYOR. The other three sides of the pillar have attached bronze plaques that list those who fell in the First World War.

In addition, another rectangular plaque attached to the plinth of the memorial reads: 1939 – 1945 / THIS MEMORIAL COMMEMORATES ALSO / THE MEN AND WOMEN OF CANTERBURY / WHO AS MEMBERS OF THE / ARMED FORCES OF THE CROWN / GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE / SECOND WORLD WAR. The names of those who fell in the Second World War are listed on three more plaques on the remaining three sides of the plinth. All inscriptions are in raised lettering.

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.


The war memorial, in remembrance of the men from Canterbury lost in the First World War, was unveiled on 10 October 1921 by Field Marshal the Earl Haig KT GCB OM GCVO KCIE, and was dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Randall Davidson. Amongst the names listed is Major Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock who won the Military Cross twice and the Distinguished Service Order three times; he died in battle in 1918 and was awarded a posthumous VC. The architect was Professor Arthur Beresford Pite MA FRIBA and the sculptor was Benjamin Clemens. The memorial was vandalised and repaired in 1981 and underwent refurbishment in 2007.

The memorial stands within a small raised octagonal cobble-stoned enclosure defined by metal railings, adjacent to the entrance to Canterbury Cathedral precinct.

Reasons for Listing

Canterbury War Memorial, unveiled on 10th October 1921, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: an impressive Doulting stone runic cross on a tapering square pillar, designed by the distinguished architect Professor Arthur Beresford Pite with some figurative carvings by the sculptor Benjamin Clemens;
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;.
* Intactness: the monument is unaltered, retaining its sculpted detail;
* Group value: situated in the historic centre of Canterbury, opposite the entrance to the Cathedral precincts and surrounded by at least 27 listed buildings.

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