Memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Unveiled on 9 October 1927 and subsequently moved in 1938 to the memorial gardens.
Reasons for Designation
The War Memorial and War Memorial Garden Terrace, Norwich is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: as an exceptional memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens;
* Group value: now faces the Grade II*-listed City Hall; from the front it stands proudly silhouetted against the keep of Norwich Castle (listed at Grade I and scheduled).
Norwich made little progress towards setting up a war memorial until Charles Bignold, a member of the founding family of the Norwich Union insurance company, was elected Lord Mayor in 1926. Bignold and his chosen architect Edwin Lutyens selected a site on the east side of the Guildhall on 13 June 1927 and the memorial was quickly completed and unveiled on 9 October, at the cost of £2,700. Lutyens also designed the cupboard for the Roll of Honour which was eventually put on display in Norwich Castle on 13 January 1931.
The memorial was subsequently moved across Gaol Hill to stand above and face the Market Place as an integral part of the Memorial Garden Terrace by C.H. James and S.R. Pierce which was laid out across St Peter’s Street from the newly built City Hall. The gardens were opened by King George IV on 29 October 1938.
The Memorial Garden Terrace was closed in 2004 because of structural problems with the undercroft which supported them, and not reopened until 10 March 2011. During the work, the war memorial was turned to face the City Hall, being rededicated on 11 November 2011. The city arms were re-emblazoned and the gilding reinstated on the flambeaux.
Sir Edwin Lutyens OM RA (1869-1944) was the leading English architect of his generation. Before the First World War his reputation rested on his country houses and his work at New Delhi, but during and after the war he became the pre-eminent architect for war memorials in England, France and the British Empire. While the Cenotaph in Whitehall (London) had the most influence on other war memorials, the Thiepval Arch was the most influential on other forms of architecture. He designed the Stone of Remembrance which was placed in all Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and some war memorials in England, including Norwich, and some which he was not otherwise associated with.
MATERIALS: Portland stone, bronze flambeaux.
DESCRIPTION: First World War memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1927. On top of the centre of a low screen wall is a wreath-topped tomb chest, with the carved and painted city arms supported by two angels on the front. Pedestals at either end support gilt bronze flambeaux. Beneath the tomb chest is a Stone of Remembrance.
The memorial is inscribed: front face, central section: OUR GLORIOUS DEAD/ THEIR NAME LIVETH/ FOR EVERMORE/ REMEMBERING ALSO ALL OTHERS OF THIS CITY WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY
Front face, left side: 1914/ 1919, with laurel swag beneath
Front face, right side: 1939/ 1945, with laurel swag beneath
THE WAR MEMORIAL GARDEN TERRACE
The War Memorial Garden Terrace of 1938 occupies a stepped, sloping terraced site parallel to the principal facade of the City Hall and orientated towards the market square. Seven lamp-posts with bell lights and one later C20 replacement stand at regular intervals either side of the central memorial and coincide with the steps accommodating the sloping site. The lights and flower tubs are on a small plinth behind paving. Metal railing on front of paving to market square side with a slight segmental projection opposite the memorial. Two corner flagpoles with bronze bases depict Peace and Plenty in shallow relief. Steps lead down to the market square at the southern end.
This List entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 06/11/2014
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 5 October 2017.