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Photographer: Tim Skelton

Northampton War Memorial

Gazetteer No. G0394

Date 1924

Address Northampton, Northamptonshire NN1 2HG England


As in so many other places throughout the country, there were many discussions in Northampton about the form that the memorial should take and where it should be placed. In due course, a site that was part of the churchyard of All Saints Church in the heart of the town was chosen and Lutyens was appointed as architect. Although his plans were approved in November 1920 the choice of site proved problematic due to the need to secure the necessary ecclesiastical consents and it was a further six years until the memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1926 by General Lord Horne.

The memorial is one of Lutyens’s finest – two obelisks with painted stone flags stand either side of a Stone of Remembrance. The treatment of the flags is particularly noteworthy for the way in which they are carved to take account of the moulding on the obelisks. Two sets of gates and stone pillars complete the ensemble. Unusually the Stone of Rembrance has two inscriptions – a quotation from the Wisdom of Solomon on one side and the more familiar “Their Name Liveth For Evermore” on the other. (Contributor: Tim Skelton)

A temporary wooden cenotaph was erected in Abington Street, Northampton, in July 1919 pending a decision about a formal memorial. In common with many other places, discussions encompassed the practical (such as a concert hall or civic improvements) and the purely commemorative, before it was decided to appoint Lutyens and choose a site in the heart of the town that was part of the churchyard of the Church of All Saints.

Lutyens completed the design work in 1920 but the chosen location, and the need to relocate some graves, meant that it was necessary to secure a Faculty from the Diocese of Peterborough. This caused delays and the memorial was eventually unveiled on 11 November 1926. An ecumenical service was held in the Market Square in order to accommodate the thousands of residents attending the ceremony, which included some 5,000 local school children. Following a procession, led by survivors of the battle of Mons and including nurses from Northampton General Hospital as well as military and civic representatives, the memorial was unveiled by General Lord Horne and dedicated by the Suffragan Bishop of Leicester.

Lord Horne committed the memorial into the care of the Mayor and the County Council. In his speech, he said, “Although in each and every parish those who remain have raised some form of memorial as a tribute…it is but right and fitting that there should stand in the county town some visible monument, some tangible memorial appealing to the heart through the eye, of the bravery, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice of the men of Northamptonshire”.

Inscriptions commemorating the fallen of the Second World War were added at a later date. (Historic England, list entry 1191327)


Historic England.The Town and County War Memorial. [Online] Available from:

Also Cited In

Bailey B & Pevsner N (2013) Northamptonshire. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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