Halesworth War Memorial Obelisk


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
c25m north-east of St Mary's Church, The Arboretum, Thoroughfare, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 8LQ


Ordnance survey map of Halesworth War Memorial Obelisk
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Statutory Address:
c25m north-east of St Mary's Church, The Arboretum, Thoroughfare, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 8LQ

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

Waveney (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial obelisk, unveiled 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Halesworth War Memorial Obelisk, which stands in The Arboretum, 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 C20.

Architectural interest:

* a simple yet well-proportioned granite obelisk in the Classical style.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*) and numerous listed buildings on Market Place and Thoroughfare.


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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also 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 raised at Halesworth as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 67 members of the local community who died in the First World War. It was erected by Mr Fred Barber (mason). The memorial was unveiled on 6 March 1921 by Major RA Parry DSO and dedicated by the Rector, Reverend HC Newbery.

The names of 18 servicemen who died during the Second World War, and three parishioners killed by enemy action, were subsequently added to the memorial, which was re-dedicated in November 1946. At one time (approximately 1955) the base of the memorial was enclosed by a stone kerb and low metal posts carrying chains but has since been re-worked. A grant from War Memorials Trust in 2003 enabled the re-lettering of the names on the upper step of the plinth.


The approximately 4.5m tall Aberdeen granite memorial stands in a prominent position within a small memorial garden known as The Arboretum, beside the north-eastern entrance to the churchyard of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*). It is close to numerous listed buildings in the town centre including 1 Market Place (Grade II).

The memorial comprises an obelisk rising from a slightly tapering corniced pedestal. The pedestal has a two-stage base. The lower stage is of a different stone and stands on a three-stepped base, square on plan. The principal dedicatory inscription in applied metal lettering to the north-east face of the pedestal reads IN HONOUR OF THE MEN/ OF HALESWORTH/ WHO FELL IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914–1918. Each of the three other faces of the pedestal is inscribed IN MEMORIAM/ (NAMES).

A further inscription to the front face of the pedestal’s upper base stage reads “GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS”/ 1939 – 1945. The names of those who died in the Second World War are inscribed on two other faces with, to the fourth, “LEST WE FORGET”/ CIVILIANS KILLED BY ENEMY ACTION/ (3 NAMES).


Explore Halesworth, accessed 12 September 2017 from https://www.halesworth.net/history/museum/warmemorial.php
Francis Frith Collection, accessed 18 July 2018 from https://www.francisfrith.com/halesworth/halesworth-war-memorial-and-kings-arms-hotel-c1955_h384010
War Memorials Online, accessed 12 September from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/117775/
War Memorials Register, accessed 12 September 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/4924
War Memorials Trust - Grants Showcase (Halesworth), accessed 18 July 2018 from http://www.warmemorials.org/search-grants/?gID=237


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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