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Hunstanton War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Hunstanton, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.941 / 52°56'27"N

Longitude: 0.4876 / 0°29'15"E

OS Eastings: 567256

OS Northings: 341072

OS Grid: TF672410

Mapcode National: GBR P2V.Q2D

Mapcode Global: WHKPF.GBDQ

Entry Name: Hunstanton War Memorial

Listing Date: 4 January 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459851

Location: Hunstanton, King's Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk, PE36

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Civil Parish: Hunstanton

Built-Up Area: Hunstanton

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk


War memorial, erected in 1921, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.


War memorial, erected in 1921, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. Constructed of Portland stone, it takes the form of a rectangular-plan cenotaph on a two-stepped base. The south-west elevation (facing the sea) bears a bronze wreath and ribbon, and the inscription: ‘1914 - 1918 / TO / OUR GLORIOUS / DEAD’. The dates of the war and the names of 53 of the fallen are inscribed on the south-east elevation. The north-west elevation is inscribed with the dates of the Second World War ‘1939 – 1945’ and the names of 15 of the fallen. The north-east elevation is inscribed: ‘EVEN / IN / PEACE / 1949 (Name) / 1979 / (Name)’. The war memorial stands in the Esplanade Gardens, west of Cliff Parade (B1161) in Hunstanton. The memorial is surrounded by paving, renewed in 2010.


The aftermath of the First World War (1914-18) 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.

In 1915 the Reverend A A Toms laid out a Garden of Rest in the grounds of the ruined Chapel of St Edmund in Hunstanton in memory of his two sons, the heroic British nurse Edith Cavell, and all the men and women of Hunstanton who lost their lives during the First World War. The Esplanade in Hunstanton was redeveloped as public pleasure grounds in 1898, with the construction of shelters and lavatories. A memorial was raised at Esplanade Gardens in 1921 as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 53 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Following the Second World War (1939-45), the names of 15 members of the local community who lost their lives were added to the war memorial, and the names of two men who served and passed away have been added since (1949 and 1979). A photograph by Francis Frith around 1955 shows the memorial enclosed by a square-plan box hedge, with an opening to the south-west. The memorial was repaired, cleaned and the gardens around it re-landscaped in 2010, and the memorial re-dedicated in 2011.

Reasons for Listing

Hunstanton War Memorial, erected in 1921, and dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a modest but well-executed memorial.

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.

Group value:

* for the strong geographic group value the war memorial holds with the nearby town hall, Golden Lion Hotel and medieval village cross, all standing within Hunstanton Conservation Area and listed at Grade II.

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