History in Structure

Mercantile Marine War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Prenton, Wirral

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 53.3677 / 53°22'3"N

Longitude: -3.0441 / 3°2'38"W

OS Eastings: 330620

OS Northings: 386156

OS Grid: SJ306861

Mapcode National: GBR 7Y5H.RH

Mapcode Global: WH87D.6MN3

Plus Code: 9C5R9X94+38

Entry Name: Mercantile Marine War Memorial

Listing Date: 27 April 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452579

ID on this website: 101452579

Location: Prenton, Wirral, Merseyside, CH42

County: Wirral

Electoral Ward/Division: Prenton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Birkenhead

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Tagged with: War memorial


First World War memorial drinking fountain, pre-1936.


First World War memorial drinking fountain, pre-1936.

MATERIALS: limestone

DESCRIPTION: the Mercantile Marine war memorial drinking fountain is located at the junction of Osmaston Road and Prenton Lane and is set upon a circular area of flag paving. The fountain is constructed of four blocks of stone consisting of a shaped plinth, which acts as a step up to the front south face, and three large square blocks above with carved rope moulding detail to the four corners. The fountain bowl is located to the front south face and is modelled on a ship’s prow with a clinker-built hull, prominent keel and a stylised ram’s prow with volute scrolling. A rough, squared patch of stone where the fountain’s faucet would have sat is set above the bowl, while an incised cutting and rough semicircle beneath the bowl mark the former drain. The fountain’s north face bears the inscription IN RECOGNITION/ OF THE/ GALLANT SERVICES/ RENDERED BY THE/ MERCANTILE MARINE/ DURING THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919 with a carved roundel above depicting an alisee patee cross.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 18 August 2021 correct wording in description.


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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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.

Prenton's Mercantile Marine war memorial was erected pre-1936 and was designed with a dual function as a public drinking fountain, although the fountain's mechanism has since been removed.

Reasons for Listing

Mercantile Marine memorial and former drinking fountain, erected pre-1936, 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 First World War.

Architectural interest:

* originally designed with a dual function as a public drinking fountain, the memorial's prow-like bowl makes symbolic reference to the maritime background of the honorands.

Group value:

* for its strong visual relationship with Prenton War Memorial, which is also listed at Grade II.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.