Boer War Memorial, Morrab Gardens, Penzance


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Centred on SW4719529997
Statutory Address:
Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4DA


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Statutory Address:
Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4DA

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

Location Description:
Centred on SW4719529997
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


War Memorial, Second Boer War, unveiled on 5 November 1904, produced by Pascoe and Co. Late C20 repairs and restoration.

Reasons for Designation

The Boer War Memorial in Morrab Gardens which was erected in 1904 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as a moving reminder of the impact of the Boer War on this community, and which illustrates the emergence of war memorials erected by the public as a focus for remembrance.

Architectural interest:

* the sculpture is expressive and the detail skilfully and realistically rendered.

Group value:

* it stands within a Grade II-registered landscape, which contains three other listed structures.


The Boer War, also known as the South African or Anglo-Boer War, (1899-1902) was the second and longer of two conflicts between the British and the Boer Republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The first took place from 1880-81. The number of casualties of the war was high, due in part to the guerrilla tactics employed by the Boers in the latter part of the war; but the number of lives lost in action was greatly outweighed by deaths from disease, which accounted for 65% of a total number of 22,000 British soldiers lost.

The war memorial to honour eight men from Penzance who lost their lives during the Boer War was erected in Morrab Gardens in 1904. The gardens (registered at Grade II) were formerly the grounds to a mid-C19 villa called Morrab House and were purchased by Penzance Corporation in 1889 and subsequently opened as a public park. The war memorial was funded by public subscription and was carved by local stonemasons Messrs Pascoe and Co. It was unveiled by the Mayoress of Penzance, Mrs Banfield, on 5 November 1904 when a dedication service was held. In 1996 the statue was re-erected after it was vandalised and the rifle was replaced as the original one had been irreparably damaged. The war memorial was restored in 2002.


War Memorial, Second Boer War, unveiled on 5 November 1904, produced by Pascoe and Co. Late C20 repairs and restoration.

MATERIALS: Sicilian marble statue on granite plinth.

PLAN: a square plinth surmounted by the statue.

DESCRIPTION: standing in Morrab Gardens, with the Morrab Library to the north-west. The memorial takes the form of a life-size statue of a volunteer soldier in khaki, wearing a Baden-Powell hat, and leaning on the butt end of a rifle. His head is bowed. The figure stands on a roughly-dressed and polished granite plinth of classical form. An inscription on the front face reads as follows THIS MEMORIAL / IS ERECTED BY THE INHABITANTS / OF PENZANCE / TO THE MEMORY OF THE / PENZANCE MEN (WHOSE NAMES / APPEAR BELOW) WHO LOST THEIR LIVES / DURING THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR / 1899 -1902 / (NAMES).

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, 11 January 2018.


Imperial War Museums, Penzance Boer War, accessed 31 October 2017 from
Penzance Boer War Memorial, accessed 31 October 2017 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 11 January 2018 from
Cornwall & Scilly Historic Environment Record, no.MCO56269
Memorial to Fallen Heroes, The Cornishman, Thursday November 10 1904


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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