Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1031597.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Sep-2020 at 17:41:41.


Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Tower Hamlets (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:



788/21/10071 Merchant Seamen's Memorial


Second World War memorial. 1952-5 to the designs of Edward Maufe for the Imperial War Graves Commission, as a complement to the adjoining First World War memorial by Lutyens unveiled in 1928 (already listed). The sculptor was Charles Wheeler. Portland stone walls set with bronze panels recalling the names of those who have no grave but the sea. The 8ft walls set in a sunken garden, lined with bronze panels on their inner face and at spaced intervals set with seven stone sculptured allegorical figures representing the seven seas. At the centre of this garden, mainly lawn, is a 'pool' of bronze engraved as a Mariners' compass and set to magnetic north. Around its edge stone paviours and oak seats form part of the composition. Steps ascend to the earlier war memorial, between pylons carved with above life-size figures of an officer and seaman of the merchant service. Between these and the 1914-18 memorial a stone of remembrance on a stepped plinth. Dedicatory inscription to 'The Twenty-four Thousand of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets whose names are honoured on the Walls of this Garden, gave their lives for their Country and have no grave but the sea'. The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates all merchant seamen who served in ships registered in ports of the British commonwealth or in ships on charter to these governments, who lost their lives as a result of enemy action and who have no known grave. 23,765 men are commemorated, including 80 pilots and lighthousemen and 832 fishermen. Its scale contrasted with that of the First World War memorial demonstrates the crucial role played by the merchant navy in 1939-45. Maufe was commissioned to produce a design that related to the earlier memorial and to the setting of Trinity House (listed in the City of London), and this was successfully achieved. The memorial was unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen on 5 November 1955.

(The Builder: 25 January 1952: 144; The Builder: 4 November 1955: 764)

Listing NGR: TQ3349680752

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 17 February 2017.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'The Builder' in 25 January, (1952), 144
'The Builder' in 4 November, (1955), 764
War Memorials Online, accessed 17 February 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 17 February 2017 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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 31 Oct 2006
Reference: IOE01/15771/28
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Patricia Philpott. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].