Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo : Curly withThanks


Temple Memorial Park 1939-45





Map ref

NZ 368637

Original Location

John Reid Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 8QN

Which war


Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Opened 15th July 1961 by Mrs Frances Temple, widow of Archbishop Temple.

Memorial Description

Park, 175 acres approximately, bounded on the east by King George Road, on the south Side by Holder House Farm, on the west by Boldon Lane and on the north {by the then proposed} John Reid Road.
There is a plaque giving the details.


County Borough of South Tyneside
This park was given to the
Corporation of South Shields
on 26th September 1946
by the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England
to be used in perpetuity
for pleasure and recreation of the public.
On 13th July 1961 the park was declared
open to the public by
Mrs. Frances Gertrude Temple
and was named
The Temple Memorial Park
in memory of her husband the Most Reverend and
Right Honourable William Temple Archbishop of
Canterbury from 1942 to 1944.



Who commissioned

Ecclesiastical Commissioners


Estimated by an Estate Agent in 1961 at about 420,500

Present condition


Ownership and maintenance

Originally the Church Estates Commissioners, led by Sir Phillip Baker Wilgraham, the First Church Estates Commissioner and officers of the Commission.


1. Harton Coal Company were the lessees of a substantial portion of the Land. They agreed to surrender their leases over the part affected by the gift, subject to one qualification, namely the retention of a wayleave over part of North Pastures Farm from the Company's Harton Colliery.

2. This was a Covenant given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners as described above. They 'had offered to make a gift to the town of a large open space for the use of the public in perpetuity, by this gift, the Commissioners desire to demonstrate their good will towards a town with which they have been associated through many years of its development. They also express the hope that possession of the park may be regarded in the Borough as a tribute by the Commissioners to the part which citizens of South Shields have played during war-time in the service of their country'.
However, this has been changed to 'The park is named after Bishop Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury. The site was gifted to the people of South Shields by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1961. It commemorates their contribution to the war at sea in World War 2'.

3. This is public knowledge and is in the public domain and documents have always been available.

4. The North and South Marine parks were also given to South Shields by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners around 1887. These cover approximately 45 acres.

5. The bouquet of flowers that was given to Mrs Frances Temple were provided from the flower beds by the Parks Department, which had arisen upon land given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from North and South Marine Parks.

6. The plans for the park were to have shrubberies as windbreaks and a decorative garden containing hundreds of Rose trees.

7. Mrs Frances Temple was a former Magistrate for Manchester, was a visitor to three Borstal Institutions, a trustee of the Clarke Hall Fellowship and a vice-president of the Youth Hostels Association. In 1945 Mrs Temple received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Manchester University.

7. The South Shields Speedway Club had a track provided for them here by the then South Shields Council in 1967. See this link for further details. Speedway.

8. It was also the site of the Corporation rubbish dump, waste tip in the 60's.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

South Shields Council Minutes , July Dec 1944 page 458.

Alnwick Mercury 11/08/1950 reports that Temple Park was used for the Durham County Agricultural Society's Show which was attended by 20,000 people.

Shields Gazette (undated but April 2006) reports concerns following the building of a new fire station and the proposal to build a new school.

External web link

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

James Pasby: Temple Park Rangers:

Research In Progress

If you are researching this memorial please contact

Temple Memorial Park 1939-45 (S86.167)

You are looking at all the information and the best images we have so far on this memorial. If you can supply more information or better images please get in touch by sending an email to

Parish Notes

Every Name A Story