Little Lever Library War Memorial Plaque


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Little Lever Library, Coronation Square, Little Lever, Bolton, BL3 1LP


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Statutory Address:
Little Lever Library, Coronation Square, Little Lever, Bolton, BL3 1LP

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

Bolton (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


War Memorial Plaque, unveiled 17 August 1940, sculpted by Mr W H Doxey of Levenshulme. The library to which the plaque is attached is excluded from the listing.

Reasons for Designation

Little Lever Library War Memorial Plaque, unveiled 17 August 1940, sculpted by W H Doxey of Levenshulme, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* a dignified memorial plaque, by a named sculptor that makes good use of quality materials; * the bas-relief carved panel is well-executed in the form of an accurate sculptural depiction of a soldier.

Historic interest: * as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the community of Little Lever, and the sacrifices it made during the First and Second World Wars; * an unusual example of a First World War memorial erected in 1940 during the Second World War.


Little Lever Library, was opened on 17 August 1940, by Lady Openshaw, Chairman of Lancashire County Libraries. It was brick-built in an austere Art Deco style, as a memorial to the Fallen of Little Lever, who died during the First World War. A large stone memorial plaque, carved by Mr W H Doxey of Levenshulme, was installed into the front wall of the library, facing out onto Coronation Square. Mr Seddon, Trustee of the War Memorial Committee, said of it: 'Although it was a little late in the day, it was a suitable memorial to those men who gave their lives in the Great War'. Its erection during the Second World War was most unusual, as generally there was little appetite to commemorate the First World War, while the country was engaged in another conflict. After the Second World War, a further two stone tablets were added at the base of the memorial, to record the names of the Fallen from that conflict, and these were unveiled at a ceremony held on Remembrance Day 1950. In spite of it being an overcast and cold day, the ceremony was watched by hundreds of people; however, the only uniforms present were those of the Salvation Army band. Remarkably, as the last post was played, the sun broke through to light the scene, and was followed by the relatives of the 28 dead moving forward in single file to lay wreaths and flowers.


War Memorial Plaque, unveiled 17 August 1940, sculpted by Mr W H Doxey of Levenshulme.

MATERIALS: the bas-relief carved panel is of Stancliffe stone; the name panels and frame are of Coniston slate.

DESCRIPTION: a rectangular wall plaque set within the front wall of Little Lever Memorial Library, the base of which is approximately 0.74m above the building podium (the library is not listed). The sea green coloured slate plaque forms a frame for a central buff coloured sandstone bas relief carved panel. The panel displays the date 1914-1918 over a recumbent dead soldier lying on a slab as if asleep, wrapped in a shroud with the head exposed. A Brodie steel helmet and a 'new pattern forage cap with peak' are propped up at either end of the slab. The panel is signed W H DOXEY at the bottom left-hand corner. The frame has stepped moulded exterior edges and re-bated interior edges, and has a projecting keystone displaying the Lever coat of arms of a knight's helmet, with a feather on either side beneath a small shield, and a motto that reads: VELTIMERE MUTARE SPERNO, (I scorn to change, or to fear). The base panel of the frame is inscribed IN MEMORY OF THE MEN / OF LITTLE LEVER / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR / THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOR EVER MORE. Two large panels carved with the 79 names of the Fallen from the First World War form the two ends of the plaque. Two secondary rectangular tablets of Coniston slate are butted up together, immediately beneath the main inscription, and are inscribed 1939-1945, and record the 28 names of the Fallen from the Second World War.


Bolton Revisited Little Lever Remembrance, accessed 23 November 2018 from
Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register - Little Lever - WW1 and WW2, accessed 23 November 2018 from
The Buildings of England: Lancashire and the South East, Clare Hartwell, Matthew Hyde, Nikolaus Pevsner, 2004, page 248, accessed 24 November 2018 from
War Memorials Online Little Lever War Memorial, accessed 23 November 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.

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

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