Bournemouth War Memorial with associated steps, enclosure and balustrade


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Central Pleasure Gardens, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, Dorset


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

Location Description:
Central Pleasure Gardens, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, Dorset
Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


A First World War Memorial of 1920-22 designed in Classical style by the architect Albert Edward Shervey, with two lions by the memorial stone mason WA Hoare.

Reasons for Designation

The Bournemouth War Memorial of 1920-22 designed in Classical style by the architect Albert Edward Shervey, with two lions by the memorial stone mason WA Hoare, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: it is a very poignant reminder of the impact of the First and Second World Wars on the local community and commemorates its fallen servicemen; * Architectural interest: it is a particularly good example of a war memorial which displaying particularly high quality architectural detailing, with its sturdy and confident design giving it a high level of monumentality; * Artistic interest: its two stone 'Canova' lions by WA Hoare, a well known memorial mason, are of good quality, displaying a high degree of craftsmanship; * Group value: it has particularly strong visual impact and important group value with the registered Pleasure Gardens and with the listed town hall, and makes a very positive and particularly important contribution to the historic, civic heart of Bournemouth.


In order to commemorate the people of Bournemouth who gave their lives during the First World War, plans for Bournemouth War Memorial started in 1920. In 1921, when the Memorial was being built, Bournemouth Borough Council moved into the adjacent Mont D' Ore Hotel which had been converted into the new Town Hall (Grade II). The building of the War Memorial formed part of wider improvements in order to give the Borough a new civic area and also to build homes for discharged, disabled soldiers from Bournemouth and the district. The War Memorial was placed in the existing Pleasure Gardens, and was planned to be situated within a Memorial Rose Garden. The Pleasure Gardens, first laid out in the mid-C19, stretch out below the Town Hall situated to its north-west. The unveiling and dedication ceremony of the War Memorial, led by Major General JEB Seely and the Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, took place on 8 November 1922. The Memorial was designed by Bournemouth's deputy architect Albert Edward Shervey (1866-1937) and adorned with two lions made by the memorial stone mason WA Hoare. It is believed that the lions, one roaring, one asleep, were copied from a pair of lions at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, which in turn were copied from Antonio Canova's lions that guard the late-C18 tomb of Pope Clement XIII, St Peter's, Rome. Hoare's family had founded a stone masons business in London in 1810. In 1894, Hoare moved to Bournemouth to set up what was soon to become one of the leading firms of building masons in the West, specialising in memorial masonry, a family business that continues to operate today.


A First World War Memorial of 1922 designed in Classical style by the architect Albert Edward Shervey, with two lions by the memorial stone mason WA Hoare.

DESCRIPTION: the Memorial is built in Portland stone with bronze plaques and wreaths. It consists of a cenotaph, a decorative 'Temple of Memory' set on a four-stepped base, standing in the centre of a raised, square-shaped gravelled area enclosed by a stone balustrade. This can be accessed via stone steps at its north side, which are guarded by a pair of stone lions by WA Hoare, one asleep, the other roaring. Each side of the temple is adorned with a bronze wreath and garlands, and its four corners are each adorned with a Doric column surmounted by a Classical urn.

A bronze plaque on the north side of the base of the 'Temple' is inscribed with: TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY OF / THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE / COUNTY BOROUGH OF BOURNEMOUTH / WHO MADE THE SUPREME / SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914-1918.

A second bronze plaque commemorating the Second World War has been set under the bronze wreath, which reads: IN / HONOURED / MEMORY / OF THE / MEN AND WOMEN / OF THE / COUNTY BOROUGH / OF BOURNEMOUTH / WHO GAVE THEIR / LIVES IN THE / 1939-1945 / WAR.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 4 October 2017.


Books and journals
Borg, A, War Memorials from Antiquity to the Present, (1991), 147-8
'The Bournemouth Echo' in For 50 years It Has Honoured Bournemouth's War Dead, (9 November 1972), unknown
'The Bournemouth Graphic' in Bournemouth's Cenotaph, , Vol. xxvii, no 1075 - 19, (10 November 1922), front page & photo spread
'The Bournemouth Graphic' in Town's War Memorial, (11 June 1920), unknown
'The Bournemouth Graphic' in Bournemouth War Memorial : Forthcoming Unveiling, (17 October 1922), 10
'The Bournemouth Graphic' in Bournemouth War Memorial, (9 July 1920), unknown
'The Bournemouth Graphic' in Bournemouth Officials Who Died in the War, (10 March 1922), unknown
'Bournemouth Daily Echo' in Bournemouth Daily Echo, (16 October 1922; 27 October 1922; 9 November 1922; 10 November 1922)
Company History, accessed from
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Biographical Details AE Shervey, accessed from
War Memorials Online, accessed 4 October 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 4 October 2017 from
Bournemouth War Memorial Committee Minutes - extracts from 1916-1924 (held by Bournemouth Borough Council),


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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