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Harbledown and Rough War Memorial, including steps and gate

A Grade II Listed Building in Canterbury, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2822 / 51°16'55"N

Longitude: 1.0558 / 1°3'21"E

OS Eastings: 613204

OS Northings: 158111

OS Grid: TR132581

Mapcode National: GBR TY1.HRY

Mapcode Global: VHLGM.811C

Plus Code: 9F3373J4+V8

Entry Name: Harbledown and Rough War Memorial, including steps and gate

Listing Date: 7 May 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1463079

Location: Harbledown and Rough Common, Canterbury, Kent, CT2

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Harbledown and Rough Common

Built-Up Area: Canterbury

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


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


Harbledown and Rough War Memorial, erected 1920 in the churchyard to the south-east of the Church of St Michael (Grade II).

DESCRIPTION: granite memorial consisting of a rough-hewn wheel-headed cross rising from a plinth on a two-stepped base. The south face of the plinth is recessed and bears the inscription ‘TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN UNFADING MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF HARBLEDOWN/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR./ 1914 – 1918/ (27 NAMES)’ in black enamelled lettering. The base of the plinth below reads ‘THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY/ THEIR FELLOW PARISHIONERS’. The east face of the plinth is also recessed and carries the inscription 1939 – 1945 followed by the names of the fallen from the Second World War.

The memorial stands on a tarred and shingled area in the south-west corner of the churchyard. The memorial has a prominent position overlooking Church Hill and is accessed from the road by a set of brick steps leading up from a timber and ironwork gate bearing the inscription ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN’.


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. One such memorial was raised at Harbledown as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 27 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Harbledown and Rough War Memorial was unveiled on the 16 May 1920 at a service led by the Archdeacon of Canterbury. The land on which the memorial stands was formerly part of the Rectory grounds and was purchased in 1919 by the Memorial Committee from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and given into the care of the Parish Council. The design for the memorial and its surrounding area was the work of Mr AS Poile, chairman of the Parish Council, while the building of the memorial was undertaken by Mr AK Sutton of Canterbury. The gate to the memorial was built by Mr Fagg while the ornamental ironwork was carried out by Mr Lawrence.

Following the Second World War, the names of 10 fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial. In 2016 the memorial received grant funding from War Memorials Trust for cleaning and re-painting of the lettering.

Reasons for Listing

Harbledown and Rough War Memorial, unveiled in 1920, 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 sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a well-worked wheel-headed granite cross with original memorial inscriptions.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Michael and the Old Rectory (both Grade II-listed).

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