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Heritage watchdog lists memorial to 'prominent member' of community

PUBLISHED: 11:24 12 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 12 May 2019

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

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It commemorates the life of a prominent former lord of the manor.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

And now a memorial fountain, which has been based in a popular park for almost a century, is to be protected - after it was listed by Historic England.

The Richard Henry Reeve Memorial, situated in Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft, has been designated as a Grade II listed building for its "architectural and historic interest" within the past few weeks.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

A spokesman for Historic England said: "The memorial is Grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England."

The monument, which is topped with a winged lion, is dedicated to Richard Henry Reeve - a solicitor who had purchased the title Lord of the Manor of Lowestoft.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

He died in 1888 and his cousin, Mary E Franey, installed the memorial - which was designed as a fountain - in a large circular basin on Royal Plain in Lowestoft in 1890.

However, safety concerns were raised and with the site at Royal Plain required for the town's war memorial after the First World War ended the Reeve memorial was moved to its present site in Kensington Gardens in 1921.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

This is where it has remained ever since.

In designating the memorial as a Grade II listed building for its architectural and historic interest, the Historic England website states: "It is an elegant and well-detailed memorial in the form of a classical column in the Ionic order, surmounted by a finely cast winged lion which lends it an elegant grandeur.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

"It illustrates the Victorian fascination with the cult of fame and their desire to aggrandise and beautify towns and cities.

"It commemorates the life of a prominent member of the Lowestoft community."

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

Not much is known about Mr Reeve, but in 1877, he is listed in Harrod's Directory of Norfolk as a "solicitor; clerk to the justices for Mutford and Lothingland; clerk to the commissioners for income, land, and assessed taxes, clerk to the commissioners of sewers for the hundreds of Blything and Mutford, Lothingland and Wangford, superintendent registrar of the districts of Mutford and Lothingland, office, High Street."

According to the "private residents list" of the Post Office directory of 1865, Richard Henry Reeve lived on the Esplanade in Lowestoft close to James Peto and other promiment figures.

The memorial to Richard Henry Reeve Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe memorial to Richard Henry Reeve Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

According to the 1870-72 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales by John Marius Wilson the manor at Blundeston and Lound belonged to R. H. Reeve, Esq, and in 1875 he was also Lord of the Manor of Ashby, near Beccles.

Research shows that he also had ownership of Gisleham manor, purchasing it in 1878.

Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesKensington Gardens in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

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