Hunstanton War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Esplanade Gardens, Cliff Parade, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 6GB


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Statutory Address:
Esplanade Gardens, Cliff Parade, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 6GB

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

King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


War memorial, erected in 1921, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

Reasons for Designation

Hunstanton War Memorial, erected in 1921, and dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a modest but well-executed memorial.

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.

Group value:

* for the strong geographic group value the war memorial holds with the nearby town hall, Golden Lion Hotel and medieval village cross, all standing within Hunstanton Conservation Area and listed at Grade II.


The aftermath of the First World War (1914-18) 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

In 1915 the Reverend A A Toms laid out a Garden of Rest in the grounds of the ruined Chapel of St Edmund in Hunstanton in memory of his two sons, the heroic British nurse Edith Cavell, and all the men and women of Hunstanton who lost their lives during the First World War. The Esplanade in Hunstanton was redeveloped as public pleasure grounds in 1898, with the construction of shelters and lavatories. A memorial was raised at Esplanade Gardens in 1921 as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 53 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Following the Second World War (1939-45), the names of 15 members of the local community who lost their lives were added to the war memorial, and the names of two men who served and passed away have been added since (1949 and 1979). A photograph by Francis Frith around 1955 shows the memorial enclosed by a square-plan box hedge, with an opening to the south-west. The memorial was repaired, cleaned and the gardens around it re-landscaped in 2010, and the memorial re-dedicated in 2011.


War memorial, erected in 1921, dedicated to the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. Constructed of Portland stone, it takes the form of a rectangular-plan cenotaph on a two-stepped base. The south-west elevation (facing the sea) bears a bronze wreath and ribbon, and the inscription: ‘1914 - 1918 / TO / OUR GLORIOUS / DEAD’. The dates of the war and the names of 53 of the fallen are inscribed on the south-east elevation. The north-west elevation is inscribed with the dates of the Second World War ‘1939 – 1945’ and the names of 15 of the fallen. The north-east elevation is inscribed: ‘EVEN / IN / PEACE / 1949 (Name) / 1979 / (Name)’. The war memorial stands in the Esplanade Gardens, west of Cliff Parade (B1161) in Hunstanton. The memorial is surrounded by paving, renewed in 2010.


Imperial War Museum, ‘Hunstanton – Cenotaph’, accessed 31 August 2018 from
War Memorials Online, ‘Hunstanton Cenotaph’, accessed 31 August 2018 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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