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Highfields War Memorial Clock Tower

A Grade II Listed Building in Adwick le Street, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.5558 / 53°33'20"N

Longitude: -1.181 / 1°10'51"W

OS Eastings: 454355

OS Northings: 406887

OS Grid: SE543068

Mapcode National: GBR NW6B.32

Mapcode Global: WHDCV.TWTF

Plus Code: 9C5WHR49+8J

Entry Name: Highfields War Memorial Clock Tower

Listing Date: 24 July 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1464028

Location: Doncaster, DN6

County: Doncaster

Electoral Ward/Division: Adwick le Street & Carcroft

Built-Up Area: Adwick le Street

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire


First World War Memorial Clock Tower, 1922, with Second World War additions. The surrounding metal railings forming an enclosure around the memorial are modern and excluded from the listing.


First World War Memorial Clock Tower, 1922, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: ashlar and rough-hewn sandstone blocks, and red granite tablets.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial takes the form of a four-stage, square-plan campanile clock tower; each stage is narrower than the proceeding one. The tower is 8.53m tall and it rises off a two-stepped stone base; it has a coursed rough-hewn plinth, a slightly tapering pedestal with rough-hewn quoins and ashlar block panels, an ashlar frieze that houses a clock-face with Roman numerals in the main elevation, and is crowned by an ashlar domed belfry, with a knob finial, and pierced in each elevation by a pair of round-arched sound openings. The upper three stages all have moulded cornices. The lower panel of the pedestal is decorated by an oval wreath tied with ribbons that is carved in relief. A narrow timber door in the rear of the plinth, gives access to the clock mechanism, and a red marble tablet with gilded incised lettering is set into the front elevation; it reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ THIS CLOCK TOWER IS ERECTED/ TO THE SACRED MEMORY/ OF THE UNDERNAMED WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY/ DURING THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919/ [32 Names]/ LEST WE FORGET. A smaller matching tablet to commemorate the fallen of the Second World War has been added at the base of the original; it reads: 1939 - 1945 WAR [13 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, a clock tower, was raised at Highfields as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 32 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The clock tower is set within a park at the entrance to Highfields village, a planned miner’s housing estate that was associated with Brodsworth Main Colliery, where it forms a focal point upon entry to the village. The funds for the memorial were raised by subscription and were aided by the directors of Brodsworth Main Colliery, who owned Highfields village. Mr R Armitage, the director of the colliery, was originally invited to unveil the war memorial clock, but he had to decline, due to contesting the election for the Central Division of Leeds. Captain J W Reynolds, of the Doncaster Branch of the Farmers Union, who served with the Lincolnshire Regiment (21st Division), stepped in at the last minute to unveil the memorial on Armistice Day 1922, after a well-attended dedication service led by Reverend D H Tarlton. Following the Second World War, the names of 13 Fallen from that conflict were also added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Highfields War Memorial Clock Tower, erected 1922, 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 two World Wars.

Architectural interest:
* a well-designed war memorial in the form of a handsome clock tower that forms a prominent village landmark;
* it is well-detailed and crafted, employing good quality materials.

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