Bury St Edmunds War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1UZ


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Statutory Address:
Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1UZ

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

West Suffolk (District Authority)
Bury St. Edmunds
National Grid Reference:


A First World War memorial, built 1921; altered after the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Bury St Edmunds War Memorial 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 design, a well-executed wheel-head cross in local stone.

Group value: *with the numerous listed buildings in the immediate area (some of which are Grade I), the Abbey scheduled monument, and the Grade II-registered Abbey Gardens and Precincts.


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 750,000 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 Bury St Edmunds, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 427 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

After discussions about an appropriate memorial, in April 1920 a scheme for a new free-standing memorial was adopted and an appeal raised for funds. The memorial was designed by architect Sidney Naish and constructed by builders Messrs Linzell and Edmundson. It was unveiled on Thursday 13 October 1921 by General Lord Horne GCB KCMG ADC and dedicated by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

Following the Second World War, the original inscription was altered and a dedication added to commemorate those who fell in that conflict.


A First World War memorial, built 1921; altered after the Second World War and later.

MATERIALS Clipsham stone.

DESCRIPTION The war memorial stands in a prominent location on the corner of Angel Hill, close to the medieval Abbey Gate. It is 4.5m high and comprises a large wheel-cross on top of a three-stepped octagonal base.

In a recessed panel on the west face of the upper step is incised: 1914-1919 / 1939-1945. Beneath this, the west face of the second step is inscribed: IN PROUD AND THANKFUL MEMORY / OF THE MEN OF BURY ST EDMUNDS / WHO WENT TO THE GREAT WARS / AND LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM. The eastern faces of the base are inscribed (upper step) TO / THE GLORIOUS DEAD / (second step) LET THOSE WHO COME AFTER / SEE TO IT/ THAT THEY BE NOT FORGOTTEN. The north face of the second step of the base is inscribed: THE ROLL OF HONOUR WHICH RESTS ON A LECTERN / IN THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST JAMES / CONTAINS THE NAMES OF 427 MEN OF THIS TOWN / WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE. The south face of the second step of the base is inscribed: THIS MEMORIAL CROSS / WAS UNVEILED BY / GENERAL LORD HORNE GCB KCMG / ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 13th 1921.


Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register – Bury St Edmunds World War I and World War II Cross , accessed 06/12/2019 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/5169
War Memorials Online – Bury St Edmunds War Memorial, accessed 06/12/2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/122665
‘Bury War Memorial Unveiling’. The Bury Free Press, 22 October 1921, p5
‘Lest we Forget! Memorial to Bury’s Fallen Heroes. Yesterday’s impressive scene on the Angel Hill’. The Bury Free Press, 15 October 1921, p7


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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