Downham Market War Memorial
Statutory Address: Junction of London Road and Church Road, Downham Market, Norfolk
Client: Royal British Legion, Downham Market Town Council and The War Memorials Trust
Status: Built 1921, Restoration completed 2008
Downham Market war Memorial was built in 1921 to commemorate the fallen of Downham Market in both world wars. It was granted Grade II listed status in 2018. The memorial is a well-executed lantern cross memorial that demonstrates fine craftsmanship in the elaborately carved details to the lantern.
The memorial was originally paid for by public subscription and was unveiled on 21 October 1921. It was built by Mr. H J Long, a local stonemason. The memorial originally commemorated 73 local servicemen who fell in the First World War.
Originally freestanding in the road, it is now enclosed within a small landscaped area at the roadside. Stone plaques were affixed to the plinth and base at a later date with renewed inscriptions. Grant funding was provided by the War Memorials Trust in 2008 to improve access to the memorial and create soft landscaping to the area adjacent to the memorial.
Downham Market war memorial is located at the junction of London Road and Church Road, within a semi-circular area of landscaping. To the west of the memorial is the Grade II-listed building The Priory.
Built using Clipsham stone the memorial takes the form of a tall, lantern cross surmounted by a crocketed pinnacle. The lantern head is elaborately carved with square columns to each corner and lancet niches to each face with cusped tracery. The niches are open to the north and south sides to reveal a Latin cross within the lantern, the east and west niches are blind with painted shields attached. The lantern crowns an octagonal shaft with a square base and inverted chamfered stops. This rises from a four-sided plinth with moulded upper corners; later stone plaques have been affixed to each face of the plinth. The plinth surmounts a three-stepped base with small square posts to each corner of the middle and lower steps.
The landscape design brief required wheelchair access to be provided along with additional standing space, additional space provided for crosses and wreaths at the base of the memorial, paving was lifted and relaid creating areas to provide new raised beds with planting to provide interest all year round with ease of maintenance. A seating area was also included.
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