Aberford War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Bunkers Hill, Aberford, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS25 3DP


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Statutory Address:
Bunkers Hill, Aberford, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS25 3DP

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

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
Lotherton cum Aberford
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1922, by Sidney Kitson FRIBA, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Aberford War Memorial, 1922, by Sydney Kitson, 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 well-proportioned and elegant classical cenotaph, by the architect Sydney Kitson;

* it employs good-quality design, materials and craftsmanship.

Group value:

* it benefits from a spatial group value with a number of listed buildings, including Grade II* listed Gascoigne Almshouses and the Grade II listed Roman Catholic Church of St Wilfred.


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 Aberford as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 24 members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.

Aberford War Memorial, a cenotaph in the form of a blocked triumphant arch, was designed by the architect Mr Sydney Kitson FRIBA. It was funded by public subscription and was unveiled on 26 March 1922, by Major General Sir F W B Landon, KCMB, CB. Following the Second World War, the lower portion of the dedication tablet of the memorial was removed and replaced by a new tablet bearing the names of the 10 Fallen from that conflict; however, the original wording on the removed section: YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED/ IN THE LAND YOU LOVED was re-inscribed at the base of the new tablet, retaining the intended sentiment of the memorial. Sydney Decimus Kitson (1871-1937) was an honorary secretary and Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. As well as designing buildings, Kitson also worked on a number of war memorials including the Grade II-listed Men of Headingley.


First World War memorial, 1922, by Sydney Kitson FRIBA, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: boasted (tooled) surface Portland stone, green Westmorland slate tablets and a concrete base. DESCRIPTION: Aberford War Memorial stands on a grass verge, set back from the Great North Road on the eastern side of Bunkers Hill. The memorial is a classical-style cenotaph in the form of a blocked rusticated arch, with a projecting moulded cornice, crowned by a stylised two-stepped pyramidal sarcophagus. The memorial rises off a two-stepped plinth, set on a concrete base. The friezes of the north and south elevations each bear a square frame housing a laurel cross carved in relief. The rear elevation has a rusticated boasted surface. The main (west) elevation has a recessed arch, with a quarry faced keystone and crossettes, which springs off a projecting fluted impost band that encircles the monument. Two green slate dedication tablets are set within the recessed arch and are incised with painted black lettering that read: TO/ THE MEMORY/ OF/ THE MEN OF ABERFORD/ WHO FELL/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ (24 NAMES)/ AND OF THOSE WHO FELL/ IN THE WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945/ (10 NAMES)/ YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED/ IN THE LAND YOU LOVED.


Aberford WW1 War Memorial, accessed 3 June 2019 from https://www.tadcaster-ww1-memorials.com/aberford.htm
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Sydney Decimus Kitson, accessed 5 June 2019 from www.scottisharchitects.org/architect_full.php/id+100148
Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, accessed 03 June 2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/21256
Leodis a photographic archive of Leeds - Remembrance Day service at Aberford War Memorial, accessed 3 June 2019 from http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=200961_169097
Traces of War - War Memorial Aberford, accessed 3 June 2019 from https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/20349/War-Memorial-Aberford.htm
War Memorials Online - Aberford War Memorial, accessed 3 June 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/224358
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 23 March 1922 and 31 March 1922, page 5


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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