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Hildenborough War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Hildenborough, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2176 / 51°13'3"N

Longitude: 0.237 / 0°14'13"E

OS Eastings: 556328

OS Northings: 148867

OS Grid: TQ563488

Mapcode National: GBR MNS.LR3

Mapcode Global: VHHQ0.2N5G

Entry Name: Hildenborough War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439848

Location: Hildenborough, Tonbridge and Malling, Kent, TN11

County: Kent

District: Tonbridge and Malling

Civil Parish: Hildenborough

Built-Up Area: Tonbridge

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Hildenborough St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.


The memorial stands at Foxbush Corner, the junction of Noble Tree Road and London Road. It takes the form of a tall cross in Clipsham stone. At the centre of the cross head a scene of Christ crucified, flanked by St Mary and St John, is carved in low relief. The cross shaft rises from a broad tapering plinth, which stands on a two-stepped base.

The phrase LIFT/ UP YOUR HEARTS is carved in relief to the front face of the foot of the cross shaft. Below, on the front face of the plinth, the principal dedicatory inscription reads REMEMBER THE COMRADES/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-19/ + GRANT THEM, O LORD, ETERNAL REST./ LET LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE ON THEM. The commemorated First World War names are inscribed on the sides of the plinth. The dates 1939-45 are recorded on the riser of the upper step of the octagonal base, with the Second World War names on faces to either side.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 20 February 2017.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also 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. One such memorial was raised at Hildenborough as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled by Colonel FSW Cornwallis and dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester on 5 October 1920. It was designed by HP Burke Downing FSA FRIBA, carved by Mr N Hitch of Vauxhall, and erected by Mr G Baker of Tonbridge. The memorial commemorates 37 local servicemen who died in the First World War. Following the Second World War a further 16 names of men who died in that conflict were added. In 2007 the memorial was refurbished with grant aid from War Memorials Trust.

Henry Philip Burke Downing FRIBA (1865-1947) was articled to Alfred Hessell Tiltman in 1882. In independent practice from 1887, he held numerous appointments including Diocesan Architect for Chichester. According to the War Memorials Register (Imperial War Museum), Hildenborough's was his only war memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Hildenborough War Memorial, which stands at Foxbush Corner, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an imposing memorial cross in the early medieval style;
* Designer: by Henry Philip Burke Downing, FRIBA and Diocesan Architect for Chichester.

Selected Sources

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