Sutton on Sea War Memorial and surrounding garden walls


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
North of the Sutton on Sea Pleasure Gardens at NGR TF 52197 82162


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

Location Description:
North of the Sutton on Sea Pleasure Gardens at NGR TF 52197 82162
East Lindsey (District Authority)
Mablethorpe and Sutton
National Grid Reference:


A First World War memorial, unveiled in 1920 and altered following the Second World War. Relocated following the East Coast floods of 1953 and re-dedicated in 1955.

Reasons for Designation

Sutton on Sea War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the memorial is a striking and sombre design, neatly made and well-proportioned.

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact on the local community of the events of the First World War;

* its relocation following the floods of 1953 give added poignancy, and the surrounding garden, thought to have been designed by Sylvia Crowe, contributes to this additional interest.


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 erected provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Sutton on Sea, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The war memorial was designed by the architect William Richard Gleave of Nottingham and was unveiled on 11 November 1920, with the cost of £320 having been raised by public subscription. It stood originally on the pullover between the town and the shore. Its precise location is not shown on the Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1932, however it is shown here in a photograph of 1936. The memorial commemorated the fallen of the parishes of Sutton of Sea and Trusthorpe. It was altered following the Second World War to also commemorate the fallen of that conflict.

Despite its exposed location, the memorial survived the severe coastal floods of 1953 which caused extensive damage in Sutton on Sea and elsewhere, and which led to the loss of many thousands of lives in England and other countries. Following these floods, the decision was taken to relocate the memorial. At this time, the adjacent public pleasure gardens, which had been largely destroyed during the floods, were being redesigned by the landscape architect Sylvia Crowe. Crowe had already been working on the east coast when the floods hit, and following this she was commissioned in various places including Sutton on Sea, where her priority was to have the pleasure gardens reopened as soon as possible to support the local economy. She was also responsible for the contemporary design of the nearby Bohemia Caravan Park, and it seems likely that the design of the small memorial garden in which the relocated war memorial stands is hers. It bears similarities to her other work in Sutton and Mablethorpe, and the low stone walls continue elements of her pleasure garden design; these are of varying height and irregular pattern. Behind them is a rock garden which has a water cascade at its southern side. The relocated war memorial was re-dedicated in June 1955.

The memorial was later altered to commemorate the conflicts in Palestine and Northern Ireland, and in 2005 it was refurbished. A new plaque installed then replaced the earlier, separate plaques.


A First World War memorial, unveiled in 1920 and altered following the Second World War. Relocated following the East Coast floods of 1953 and re-dedicated in 1955.

MATERIALS: the memorial is constructed of Portland stone.

PLAN: the memorial stands at the centre of a small, irregularly shaped garden. It faces south-west, with the pullover and seafront at the rear, to the east beyond the pullover and sea wall.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial takes the form of a substantial stone monolith or pillar on a low base three courses high. Blocks project to form crosses on each face of the memorial; on the south-eastern face the words 'pro patria' are carved into the stone.

The south-west face of the memorial has a plaque which bears the following inscription:


SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the memorial stands on a wide stone platform which has low metal railings. Beyond this, the memorial garden has low walls of rock-faced stone; these are of varying height and irregular pattern.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 03/12/2020


Imperial War Museums Inventory ref. 54058, accessed 29.09.2020 from
Lincs to the Past ref. LM2359, accessed 29.09.2020 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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