Gorton and Abbey Hey War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Junction of Constable and Lees Street, Gorton, Manchester, M18 8GY


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1460798.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 26-Oct-2020 at 11:02:00.


Statutory Address:
Junction of Constable and Lees Street, Gorton, Manchester, M18 8GY

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

Location Description:
Manchester (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial of about 1920 with Second World War dates added.

Reasons for Designation

Gorton and Abbey Hey War Memorial, a First World War memorial of about 1920 with Second World War dates added, 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: * for its well-modelled granite form with details including intricate lettering and a Tudor crown finial.


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 Gorton, commemorating the 140 fallen of Gorton and Abbey Hey. It is not known when the memorial was erected, but it is first marked, in its current location, on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:2,500 map of 1935 (surveyed in 1933). The makers are thought to have been Lewis and Co. It is thought that the names inscribed on the base, which are in the same ornate lettering as those on the pillar, are those of First World War fallen which were initially omitted. This suggests that the memorial was erected in the early 1920s, when there was still some uncertainty about the final fate of some men. The alternative (that these are the names of the fallen of the Second World War) does not appear to be borne out by searches of service records for those names. The dates of the Second World War were added to the front of the plinth after 1945.

The war memorial is prominently sited at the junction of Lees Street and Constable Street in Gorton, adjacent to a small recreation ground.


First World War memorial, about 1920, with Second World War dates added after 1945.

MATERIALS: pink granite.

PLAN: square.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial faces approximately north and stands approximately five metres tall. It comprises a square pillar with moulded base and capital, surmounted by a short circular column with a crown finial.

The finial is a Tudor crown, and sits atop a short, fluted column with a moulded capital and foot, on an octagonal base. Beneath this, the capital of the main pillar has a moulded cornice, with a semi-circular arch in the centre of the top, housing a laurel wreath. Above the frieze, the face of the cornice is inscribed: IN MEMORIAM. Below this the frieze has three triglyphs, with Lancashire roses between them. Below this the pillar is inscribed with the names of the fallen; on the north face there are 29. The names are listed alphabetically by surname and Christian name, with ranks and decorations included. The lettering is in a serifed, Gothic style and painted in gold.

The base to the pillar is two-stepped and moulded. The face of the upper step is inscribed: IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY while the face of the lower step is inscribed: THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945. The chamfered top of the upper step is inscribed with an additional two names, while that of the lower step has a further four.

The other faces are of identical design. The right return (west) has 29 names on the face, with one on the upper step and four on the lower step. The face of the upper step is inscribed: THEIR BRIGHT SPIRITS STILL TENANT THE/ HEARTS OF THOSE WHO LOVED THEM and that of the lower step: VICTORY.

The rear (south) face has 30, 2 and 4 names, with the lower inscriptions reading: THEY PASSED OUT OF THE SIGHT OF MAN BY/ THE PATH OF DUTY AND SELF SACRIFICE and: LIBERTY. The left return (east) face has 29, 2 and 4 names, and inscriptions reading: LET THOSE WHO COME AFTER SEE TO IT THAT/ THESE NAMES BE NOT FORGOTTEN and: PEACE .

Thus, there are 117 names in total on the faces of the pillar, plus 23 on the base, totalling 140.


Forces War Records, accessed 09/10/18 from https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/namesearch/?Surname=ollerenshaw&RecordType=Ww2&RecordDateStartYear=1939&RecordDateEndYear=1945&Step=1
Imperial War Museums register, accessed 25/09/18 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/10715
Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society, accessed 25/09/18 from http://www.mlfhs.org.uk/data/war_memorials_images.php?memorial=170
War Memorials Online register, accessed 25/09/18 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/179684


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building is shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].