Clitheroe War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Castle Grounds, Moor Lane, BB7 1BE


Ordnance survey map of Clitheroe War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Castle Grounds, Moor Lane, BB7 1BE

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

Ribble Valley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial of 1923 with additional names of the Second World War and incorporating a relocated Boer War memorial, by LF Roslyn for Clitheroe Corporation.

Reasons for Designation

Clitheroe War Memorial, a First World War memorial of 1923 with additions of the Second World War and incorporating a relocated Boer War memorial, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the late-C19 and C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a good-quality sculpture by the internationally-renowned sculptor LF Roslyn, designer of several listed war memorials; * enhanced by the addition of the town’s Boer War memorial plaque and its stone architrave.

Group value:

* with the scheduled castle, registered memorial park and with other listed structures within the park, most notably the pinnacle from the former houses of parliament.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England, 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.

One such memorial was erected in Clitheroe. It commemorates 332 local servicemen who died during the First World War. In February 1920 assent was given to a recommendation by the Clitheroe Corporation to purchase the town’s Norman castle and grounds from Lord Montague (the Duke of Buccleuch) in commemoration of local servicemen who had lost their lives. The money to purchase the site, produce a war memorial and lay out the park grounds was all raised through public subscription (the appeal opening in 1917 and continuing after the erection of the memorial) and totalled some £15,000.

The memorial was sculpted by LF Roslyn RBS and it was unveiled on 18 August 1923 by the Mayor of Clitheroe, Lord Derby. Addresses were given by Canon JH Wrigley, who had previously dedicated the memorial, Rev Fr Robinson, and Rev HW Ward, president of the Free Church Council. The first wreath was placed by Mr T Snape who lost four sons and a son in law. Several hundred wreaths followed as large crowds visited the memorial throughout the weekend.

Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 72 Fallen of that conflict (two of the names having been added later). The lawns flanking the cenotaph were dedicated on Saturday 23rd June 1956 as a Garden of Remembrance to Clitheroe men and women who gave their lives in three wars. The garden also contains a plaque listing the names of casualties of the Boer War. In August 1907 the Mayor of Clitheroe, Alderman JT Whipp, had paid for the erection of a bronze tablet on the wall of Clitheroe library to honour the eight men of the town who had fallen in the Boer War. It is not known when this was moved here within its stone architrave (possibly taken from the library to which the plaque was originally fixed). A small plaque also commemorates one soldier lost in the troubles in Northern Ireland in 1972.

Louis Frederick Roslyn RBS (born Louis Fritz Roselieb, 1878-1934) was a London-born sculptor of German ancestry. At the Royal Academy schools he was awarded the Landseer scholarship and a travelling scholarship, becoming a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1914, and a Fellow in 1923. In 1915 he enlisted and in 1917 joined the Royal Flying Corps at the School of Military Aeronautics; having changed his middle and surnames in 1916 but being barred from combat service, he used his metallurgical skills electro-plating parts for aero engines. Roslyn was one of the most prolific sculptors of British war memorials, which include Oswaldtwistle, Rawtenstall and Haslingden; Port Talbot (Wales), Portstewart (Northern Ireland) and Trinidad.


First World War memorial of 1923 with additional names of the Second World War and incorporating a relocated Boer War memorial, by LF Roslyn for Clitheroe Corporation.

MATERIALS: white granite, bronze.

PLAN: square pedestal with square plinth on a three-stepped square base.

DESCRIPTION: standing in the grounds (which are a Grade II-registered park) of the Grade I-listed castle below the keep, within a square, stone-paved memorial garden bounded by low stone walls with steps flanked by walls.

The memorial faces east. The statue depicts a Grenadier Guard in battle order with cap, bowing his head and resting his hands on his reversed rifle. It is signed LF Roslyn RBS on the front edge of the base.

The pedestal has an ashlar top with moulded cornice atop a quarry-faced granite shaft. The front face has a central plaque which is inscribed with incised lettering with black fill: ERECTED/ BY/ THE INHABITANTS OF/ CLITHEROE/ IN/ GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE/ OF/ THEIR FELLOW TOWNSMEN/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN DEFENCE OF THEIR/ KING AND COUNTRY/ IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 1918

The plinth is ashlar and batters to all four sides. To its front face is fixed a bronze plaque with relief inscriptions: WORLD WAR II 1939-1945 followed by the names of the Fallen listed alphabetically by surname without ranks, with two names on added labels below the centre two of the four columns.

The First World War Fallen are listed in relief on three bronze plaques to the left and right returns and the rear face, also alphabetically by surname without ranks.

The Boer War memorial is fixed to the stone wall behind the memorial, within a stone architrave with lintel cornice, and ashlar infill. There is a stone shelf below the plaque and a lintel over it. The plaque is in relief with a bossed border and bears the town’s arms flanked by four laurel wreaths and the inscription: THIS MEMORIAL WAS PLACED HERE BY/ ALDERMAN.J.T WHIPP.MAYOR/ TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF HIS FELLOW TOWNSMEN WHO/ WENT FROM THE BOROUGH OF CLITHEROE AND LOST THEIR LIVES IN/ THE WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA-1899-1902. Below this are the names of six servicemen, listed in order of their falling, with ranks, units and the location and date of their falling.

Below this is the further inscription: AND THE FOLLOWING VOLUNTEERS/ FROM THE ST JOHNS AMBULANCE BRIGADE with two names below, also with ranks and the place and date of their falling.

The plaque is dated August 1907 and has the Manchester makers’ name.

A small plaque also commemorates one soldier lost in the troubles in Northern Ireland in 1972.


Books and journals
Curtis, Penelope, Sculpture 1900-1945, (1999), 53-4
‘Castle as Memorial: An Impressive Ceremony at Clitheroe’, Burnley News, 22/08/1923, P7, from British Newspaper Archive, accessed 09/03/18 from
‘War memorial for Clitheroe’ - report of the plans for the Boer War inscription in the Burnley Gazette 14/11/1906, from British Newspaper Archive, accessed 09/03/18 from
biographical information for LF Roslyn, accessed 09/03/18 from,_Louis_Frederick,_Sculptor
biographical information for LF Roslyn from 'mapping the practice and profession of sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951', accessed 09/03/18 from
war memorials online entry for the first world war memorial, accessed 09/03/18 from
war memorials register entry for the First World War memorial, accessed 09/03/18 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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