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Holkham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Holkham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.959 / 52°57'32"N

Longitude: 0.8151 / 0°48'54"E

OS Eastings: 589186

OS Northings: 343888

OS Grid: TF891438

Mapcode National: GBR R5R.GWZ

Mapcode Global: WHKPD.HWDG

Entry Name: Holkham War Memorial

Listing Date: 1 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1450897

Location: Holkham, North Norfolk, Norfolk, NR23

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk

Civil Parish: Holkham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk


First World War memorial, unveiled on 2 May 1920, with Second World War additions.


First World War memorial, 1920, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: Aberdeen granite, bronze.

DESCRIPTION: Holkham war memorial is located on a small mound within an enclosed grassed area on the Holkham Hall estate. It is adjacent to the Grade II-listed buildings The Infants School, The School and Nos 25 and 26 Park Road.

It takes the form of a tall, polished Aberdeen granite obelisk which has a band of Greek Key design, carved in relief, around its base. Bronze wreaths are affixed directly above the band to each face of obelisk. The obelisk rises from a four-sided plinth of rough-hewn granite, which surmounts a three-stepped, square base. The inscriptions and names are on bronze panels affixed to the plinth and upper step of the base.

The principal inscription is to the bronze panel on the west face of the plinth and reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF/ ALL THOSE FROM/ HOLKHAM/ WHO SERVED IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919/ SOME FELL IN BATTLE/ AND SOME DIED OF WOUNDS AND SICKNESS/ BUT ALL NOBLY DID THEIR DUTY/ TO THEIR KING AND COUNTRY/ THIS OBELISK WAS ERECTED BY/ THOMAS WILLIAM, 3RD EARL OF LEICESTER. The 19 names related to the First World War are listed on bronze plaques to the remaining three sides of the plinth; under each name is the regiment in which they served, details of how they died and the date.

Affixed to the west face of the upper step of the base is a bronze plaque with the words WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945. The two casualties from this conflict are listed on separate bronze plaques to the north and south faces of the upper step of the base, in a similar style to the First World War names.


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 on the Holkham estate by the third Earl of Leicester, Thomas William Coke, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 19 men from the estate that lost their lives in the First World War. It was unveiled on 2 May 1920 by Lady Leicester and dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford. One of the men commemorated was Lord and Lady Leicester’s son, Lieutenant Arthur George Coke, who was killed at Gallipoli on 2 May 1915. His is the first name listed on the memorial and it was unveiled on the fifth anniversary of his death.

A roll of honour is also located at Holkham Hall and a memorial tablet in the parish church of St Withburga.

Following the Second World War a dedication and the names of the two casualties from that conflict were added to the memorial. One of those commemorated was the grandson of the third Earl of Leicester, Flight Lieutenant David Arthur Coke who was killed in action on 9 December 1941.

The memorial was originally surrounded by low posts with chains hung between but these have subsequently been lost.

Reasons for Listing

Holkham war memorial, which is situated off the main driveway through the Holkham Hall estate, 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:

* A well-executed obelisk memorial.

Group value:

* With the adjacent Grade II-listed buildings The Infants School, The School and Nos. 25 and 26 Park Road.

Other nearby listed buildings

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