The Birmingham Hall of Memory

S.N. Cooke and W.N. Twist, Birmingham , 1925


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View of the Hall of Memory's facade 

The Architectural Review     Download Original

  • View of the Hall of Memory    
  • The main entrance facade    
  • The colonnade    
  • Entrance to the colonnade    
  • View of the Hall of Memory, looking across the lawns, from the colonnade    
  • Interior of the memorial shrine    
  • View of the main entrance doorway and the central shrine    
  • The exit doorway from the shrine, with stained glass window above    
  • Site plan    
  • Foundation plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Section through main entrance    

A public war memorial in the centre of Birmingham

The Hall of Memory was built to commemorate the 12,320 Birmingham citizens who died in World War One.

Its situation at the eastern end of the site was intended to make it noticeable from the most important public approach. The building itself is designed in an octagonal shape, so that it coincides with the axis of its site.

The surrounding layout is spaciously designed, to give the setting an appropriate sense of dignity. Three lawns are set between the colonade and the hall. The colonade is designed to a simple doric style, with paired columns.

Although it is an octagonal shape, the hall has four main elevations. At the base of each of the narrow external forces is a statue. These are by the local artist, Albert Toft. They represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and Women's Services.

The exteriors are made with Portland stone, imported from Dorset. This contributes to the architectural character of sculptural solidity, both in the interior and exterior. The design is simple, and concentraties on the bronze entrance doors.

The interior uses a combination of coloured marbles, set off against the Beer stone walls. Four seats are carved into the corners in Napoleon marble. The central shrine contrains a bronze casket with a book recording names of the war victims.

Above the doorways, there are reliefs depicting the call to arms. These are by a local artist, Mr. William Blythe. The domed ceiling controls the light by allowing it in only through its crown. Small windows lie above the seating corners, and a stained glass window is integrated, above the exit doorway


  • Begun: 1922
  • Completed: 1925
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Civic
  • Total cost: £60,000
  • Funding: Public donations
  • Address: The Birmingham Hall of Memory, Centenary Square, Birmingham , B1 2HF, United Kingdom

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