Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  London  /  Cenotaph

Cenotaph, London

#601 of 3,582 in Things to do in London
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's official national war memorial.
Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the permanent structure was built from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts, replacing Lutyens' earlier wood-and-plaster cenotaph in the same location. An annual Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year. Lutyens' cenotaph design has been reproduced elsewhere in the UK and in other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.
The first cenotaph was a wood-and-plaster structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and erected in 1919. It was one of a number of temporary structures erected for the London Victory Parade (also called the Peace Day Parade) on 19 July 1919. It marked the formal end of the First World War that had taken place with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. As one of a series of temporary wooden monuments constructed along the route of the parade, Whitehall's was not proposed until two weeks before the event. Following deliberations by the Peace Celebrations Committee, Lutyens was invited to Downing Street. There, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, proposed that the monument should be a catafalque, like the one intended for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris for the corresponding Victory Parade in France, but Lutyens proposed instead that the design be based on a cenotaph.
Take a look at our London itinerary planner to schedule your visit to Cenotaph and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Create an itinerary including Cenotaph
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Cenotaph reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
225 reviews
  • Very meaningful location and wholly respected. Whitehall is just the place for it as the people dash by. It stands out from the many monuments around here.  more »
  • The Cenotaph is located in the centre of Whitehall. A short walk from the Palace of Westminster in one direction and Trafalgar Square in the other. Your closest Tube station would be Westminster on.....  more »
  • Originally a temporary structure following the 1st world world war. Now a beautiful monument. Well worth seeing. Built berween 1919-1920 it is about 100 years old.
  • I enjoyed the view of this statue. In the middle of the street to raise awareness! Really nice! Well done!

Plan your trip to London

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.