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Latitude: 52.1886 / 52°11'18"N
Longitude: 0.989 / 0°59'20"E
OS Eastings: 604412
OS Northings: 258693
OS Grid: TM044586
Mapcode National: GBR SJL.QWB
Mapcode Global: VHKDP.3862
Entry Name: Stowmarket War Memorial Gates
Listing Date: 19 May 2017
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1441772
Location: Stowmarket, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP14
District: Mid Suffolk
Civil Parish: Stowmarket
Built-Up Area: Stowmarket
Traditional County: Suffolk
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk
Church of England Parish: Stowmarket St Peter and St Mary
Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich
First World War Memorial Gates to Stowmarket Recreation Ground, unveiled 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.
MATERIALS: Brick pillars, iron gates and railings, and bronze plaques.
DESCRIPTION: Stowmarket War Memorial Gates are located at the entrance to Stowmarket Recreational Ground, on Finborough Road. The gates are hung from two brick piers surmounted by corniced stone caps each supporting a stone ball finial. The elaborate wrought iron gates with spiked dog rails and ornate scroll-work above display the town coat of arms. A panel to the top of the left-hand gate reads MEMORIAL with, on the panel to the right, GATES 1920.
Bronze panels on each gate commemorate the fallen of the Second World War and read IN HONOURED MEMORY OF THOSE OF/ THIS TOWN WHO FELL IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES). Tall rectangular bronze plaques to each brick pier record the First World War dedications, reading TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF THIS TOWN/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ (NAMES). Additional small plaques are fixed to the piers.
Either side of the gate piers secondary gates are hung at the pedestrian walkways, meeting ancillary brick piers with stone caps and ball finials. These are adjoined to low quadrant walls to either side, supporting curved railings with similar spiked dog rails and ornamental standards. These end in similar brick piers with stone caps and ball finials.
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, 5 June 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. At the end of the war the area of King’s Meadows was purchased to form a Recreation Ground in Stowmarket as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the conflict.
The recreation ground was opened on 1 May 1920 by Mr George Ormes, chairman of the Stowmarket Urban District Council’s War Memorial Committee. The war memorial gates to the south side of the park were created in 1920: the wrought iron work was carried out by Messrs Bayliss, Jones and Bayliss, Victoria Works, Wolverhampton, and the brickwork and ground works were carried out by Seamans and Son, Stowmarket. The gates and First World War tablets were unveiled and dedicated on 13 February 1921 by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Sir T Courtenay Warner. The purchases were funded by public subscription: a total of £3,458 was raised.
After the Second World War two tablets were added to the gates, unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 12 November 1950 by the Earl of Stradbroke, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk. In 2014 a project was undertaken to repair the metal plaques with grant aid from War Memorials Trust.
Stowmarket War Memorial Gates, which stand on Finborough Road, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: elaborate wrought iron gates with understated brick piers forming a formal entrance to Stowmarket Recreation Ground;
* Group value: with the Grade II-listed Stowmarket Council School Memorial Drinking Fountain.
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