Hall of Memory - A Birmingham Gem!

The Hall of Memory is a war memorial designed by Cooke and Twist which was opened in 1925 in Centenary Square, Birmingham. 


The Hall of Memory was built to commemorate the 12,320 Birmingham citizens who died in the First World War as well as the 35,000 who were wounded.  It was built between 1922 and 1925 by John Barnsley & Sons. 

Hall of Memory

Hall of Memory in Centenary Square (April 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

History of the Hall of Memory

Construction of the Hall of Memory began in June 1923. It was opened during July 1925. The war memorial was built in the Art Deco style, and was built to commemorate the 12,230 citizens of Birmingham who died during the First World War. It was built directly over the filled in Gibson's Arm. It was the first structure to be built for a grand civic centre. Baskerville House followed, but it was abandoned when the Second World War broke out in 1939. It was made from Portland Stone from the Isle of Portland in Dorset. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1923 (later King Edward VIII in 1936) and opened by Prince Arthur of Connaught in 1925, to a crowd of 30,000. It had cost £60,000 to build. The four bronze statues were by local artist Albert Toft. They represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and Women's Services. Inside was three carved bas-reliefs by William Bloye, representing the Call, Front Line and Return.

Hall of Memory

Hall of Memory interior (September 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

There used to be a Garden of Remembrance, with a Collonade and a fountain. This also opened in 1925. The Collonade was relocated to the St Thomas' Peace Garden in 1990, while the fountain has long since disappeared. This was during the building of the original Centenary Square, which opened in 1991. The Hall of Memory was originally a Grade II listed building from 1997, but was promoted to a Grade I listed building in 2014.

Hall of Memory

Remembrance Sunday at the Hall of Memory a Grade I listed building (November 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

26 Feb 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Civic pride, Squares and public spaces
Classic Architecture

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com