Kings Somborne War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Romsey Road (A3057), Kings Somborne


Ordnance survey map of Kings Somborne War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Romsey Road (A3057), Kings Somborne

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Test Valley (District Authority)
Kings Somborne
National Grid Reference:
SU 36015 31017


First World War memorial, 1921, by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

King’s Somborne War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principle 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;

* Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944), who designed extant 58 memorials at home and abroad including the Cenotaph in Whitehall;

* Design: a simple yet elegant cross, with the unusual feature of a lower, coved, plinth that splays out upwards to form a seat around the base of the memorial;

* Group value: with several nearby listed structures, notably the Grade II*-listed church of St Peter and Paul.


In February 1919 Herbert Johnson, for whom Lutyens had designed Marsh Court, a large nearby country house (1901-4; listed Grade II*), chaired a meeting in the village schoolroom to discuss the principle of a war memorial for King’s Somborne. A committee was duly formed and Lutyens was commissioned to design a cross which was unveiled by Rear-Admiral Sir Godfrey Paine on Easter Sunday (27 March) 1921. The cross is similar to the one in the nearby village of Stockbridge.

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 in some cemeteries in England, including some with which he was not otherwise associated.


The memorial stands at the centre of the village where Church Road and Romsey Road meet. It comprises a Portland stone War Cross with a lozenge-sectioned cross shaft set on a three-stage, rectangular, plinth. That itself stands on a lower, coved, plinth which that splays out upwards to form a seat around the base of the memorial. There is a base of three broad, square, shallow steps.

The main plinth is inscribed TO THE/ GLORIOUS MEMORY/ OF THE MEN/ OF/ KINGS SOMBORNE/ MCM XIV + MCM XIX/ MCM XXXIX + MCM XLV/ (NAMES). To the rear is THANKS BE TO GOD/ WHO GIVETH US/ THE VICTORY. The commemorated names are recorded to either side. The names of those fell in the Second World War have been added.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 14/10/2015

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, 6 December 2016.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


War Memorials Online, accessed 06/12/2016 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 06/12/2016 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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