Matlock Bath War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Memorial Gardens, North Parade, Matlock Bath, Matlock, DE4 3NS


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Statutory Address:
Memorial Gardens, North Parade, Matlock Bath, Matlock, DE4 3NS

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

Location Description:
Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
Matlock Bath
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial with additional Second World War inscription.

Reasons for Designation

The Matlock Bath war memorial in Derbyshire, unveiled in 1921, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as an outstanding example of its type, with confident and highly competent use of classical architectural forms and motifs to form a well-proportioned and sophisticated composition; * for the extremely high quality of the Carrara marble sculpture as both a visually striking and poignant work of art.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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.

The Matlock Bath war memorial was unveiled by Mr Frederic Arkwright and dedicated by Rev W Askwith on Sunday 1 May 1921 at a ceremony presided over by Mr J W Boden. 35 wreaths were laid around the memorial after the service. The sculpture was carved by Fedele Andreani & Fratelli and the mason for the memorial was James Beresford & Sons of Belper (the latter are named on the face of the plinth): the whole memorial cost £710. This information was recorded in The High Peak News and later on a hand-written file note held by the District Council (the note itself being many years old). The memorial was updated following the Second World War at which time the north-face inscription was replaced. It originally held 22 names and a further 10 names were added following the Second World War. The Matlock Bath design was later used by James Beresford & Sons for similar war memorials in Cannock (unveiled in May 1923) and Scunthorpe (November 1926). The war memorial is maintained by the Parish and the District Council.


A war memorial of 1921, with a marble sculpture carved by Italian company Fedele Andreani and Fratelli, the remainder of the memorial by masons James Beresford & Sons of Belper.

PLAN: Square in plan.

MATERIALS: Grey Cornish Granite and White Italian Carrara Marble.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial comprises a Carrara marble sculpture of a soldier and sailor standing astride a cairn and carrying a billowing Union Flag. It is placed on a pedestal composed of a granite pillar with a moulded and dentilled cornice and corner pilasters, on a granite plinth with laurel wreath in relief, itself set atop a stepped ashlar base. The whole is surrounded by a low circular kerb.

The inscriptions are in lead lettering. On the north face OUR GLORIOUS DEAD on the frieze and below IN/ HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF MATLOCK BATH/ WHO GAVE THEIR ALL/ IN THE/ GREAT WAR OF NATIONS/ 1914-1919/ with names listed further below. At the lower edge of the pedestal north face "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE". The west face inscription reads DUTY NOBLY DONE,/ HONOUR BRAVELY WON,/ LOYAL HEARTS NOW REST,/ BY GOD'S PEACE NOW BLEST. There is a later addition at the head of the south face of the pedestal ALSO IN/ HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES IN THE WORLD WAR/ 1939-1945/ with names below. The original lettering at the foot of the south face of the pedestal ERECTED BY VOLUNTARY SUBSCRIPTION BY THE INHABITANTS OF MATLOCK BATH. On the east face of the pedestal GREATER LOVE/ HATH NO MAN THAN THIS,/ THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE/ FOR HIS FRIENDS. On the south face of the plinth BERESFORD, BELPER.

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, 27 February 2018.


Matlock & Matlock Bath: About the Five War Memorials, accessed 4 October 2017 from
Matlock & Matlock Bath: The War Memorials, accessed 4 October 2017 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 27 February 2018 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 4 October 2017 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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