Inventory Site Record

Surbiton War Memorial Gardens (Kingston)

Brief Description

Surbiton War Memorial Gardens were laid out after WWI and the War Memorial was unveiled in July 1921. The Memorial Gardens surround the central memorial cross, with areas of lawn and paths and a few seats, backed by a hedge and also hedged to the road. The garden was extended in 1952 when a general inscription commemorating those who died in WWII was added to the War Memorial; further memorials were added to the garden in later years.

Practical Information
Site location:
Ewell Road, Surbiton
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Surbiton then bus. Bus: 281, 406, 71, 465, K1
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.kingston.gov.uk/browse/environment/parks/recreation_sites

Full Site Description

Surbiton War Memorial, set in the Memorial Gardens, was unveiled in July 1921 commemorating 382 servicemen from the Urban District of Surbiton who died in the war. The stone memorial consists of a tall wheel-head cross with moulded foot on a tapering octagonal shaft standing on an octagonal plinth on a three-stepped base. The memorial cross is surrounded by an octagonal paved area at the front of which are two low bollards that originally carried stone urns. The garden that surrounds the memorial has areas of lawn and paths and a few seats, backed by a hedge; it was originally demarcated from the pavement by low railings, later replaced by hedging, which remains today. The garden was extended in November 1952 as recorded on a bronze plaque on the War Memorial, when an inscription to commemorate those who died in WWII was added. Further memorials have been added to the garden since then: a cairn of stone from St Mark's Church Surbiton (q.v.) was built against the rear boundary of the garden and commemorates the air raid on 2 October 1940 that severely damaged the church, which was later rebuilt in 1960. In 2003 two short brick walls were erected either side of the cairn with large stainless steel plaques naming those who had died in WWII. On 16 May 2015 a memorial in the form of a tablet on a plinth was erected to Douglas Belcher, who had received a Victoria Cross in WWII. Surbiton War Memorial was listed grade II in February 2016.

Surbiton War Memorial Gardens are situated to the south of the Grade II listed Sessions House, which was built in 1898 as Council Offices for Surbiton Urban District Council and became the Borough Offices in 1936, and later, in 1966/7, were used as the Crown Court. Between the War Memorial Gardens and the Crown Court is Surbiton Library, which opened in April 1932, and further south is Surbiton Hill Methodist Church. Both the Court House and Library have landscaped garden areas fronting the road with flower beds, shrubs and trees. Directly behind the Memorial Gardens is Surbiton Library Hall, built in 1964 to provide additional meeting space.

Sources consulted:

Tim Everson 'Kingston, Surbiton and Malden' Britain in Old Photographs, Sutton 1995 (reprint Budding Books 2000); Richard Stathan 'Surbiton Past' (Phillimore, 1996); Historic England listed building entry for Surbiton War Memorial: 1432632

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ185673 (518550,167350)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
RB Kingston
Site management:
Grounds maintenance contractor: Quadron Services Ltd
Listed structures:
LBII: Surbiton War Memorial
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Surbiton War Memorial Gardens

Surbiton War Memorial Gardens, June 2002. Photograph Sally Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.