National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Benevolence and Education


Type Clock Tower

     Four-faced clock tower with a small spire. Door set into NW face. Decorative stone plaques set into NE and SW faces of tower. The plaque on the NE face is labelled 'Benevolence' and shows a seated female figure with her right arm around the shoulder of a child standing at her knee. The plaque on the SW face is called 'Education' and shows the carved figures of a seated female with a child kneeling at her feet.
     Stanley Bean Atkinson was a prominent citizen and local government member at the turn of the century. The clock tower was erected in his memory in 1913 in Burdett Road. It was moved to its present location in 1934, an event recorded in the Daily Mirror for 29 January 1934: 'Memorial Moved from Busy Centre - The 30 ton memorial to Mr Stanley B. Atkinson moved to Stepney Green Waste E. from Burdett Road, where it had stood since 1913. The removal was made at the request of the Minister of Transport. It is an attempt to reduce the number of accidents at a busy spot'.(1) The removal and relocation of the clock tower took place overnight on 28 January 1934. The tower was restored in 1994 and given a new clock with an hour bell cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.(2)
     Stanley Bean Atkinson


In incised capitals on a stone tablet on SE face of clock tower: IN MEMORY OF / STANLEY B. ATKINSON. J.P. / M.A., L.L.M., M.B., B.Sc. / M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., BARRISTER-AT-LAW. / STEPNEY BOROUGH COUNCILLOR. / GUARDIAN OF THE POOR. / MEMBER OF METROPOLITAN ASYLUMS BOARD. / BORN 1873. DIED 1910. / THIS TOWER WAS ERECTED / IN 1913 IN RECOGNITION OF / HIS UNSELFISH DEVOTION / TO THE PUBLIC GOOD. / [in smaller capitals] "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, / THAT MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE / FOR HIS FRIENDS." / JOHN 1.13. On plaque on SW face of clock tower, in top left corner of plaque, in embossed capitals, partially indecipherable: EDUCA- / TION On plaque on NE face of clock tower, in top left corner of plaque, in embossed capitals: BENEVOLENCE

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Clock tower White stone plinth and dressings; red brick and glazed brick tower 600-650cm high
Plaques on NE and SW faces of tower White stone Each: 110cm high approx x 75cm wide approx

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
Structural condition
Road Stepney Green
Precise location In small enclosed garden fenced off from direct public access
A-Z ref 84 Zb 43
OS ref TQ355819
Date of design 1913
Year of unveiling 1934
Unveiling details January 1934
Commissioned by None
Duty of care London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Listing status II
At risk? No known risk

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