Proposals for Cherry Groce memorial in Brixton released

The proposed pavilion looking east
The proposed pavilion looking East towards the Bovril wall and African Caribbean War and Peace Memorial

Details of a memorial to Cherry Groce in Brixton’s Windrush Square designed by the firm of leading international architect Sir David Adjaye OBE have been released.

Cherry Groce was shot by police while in bed at her home in Normandy Road in 1985, setting off serious rioting in Brixton during which a young photographer, David Hodge, received injuries from which he died.

She was paralysed from the chest down as a result of the shooting and lived in pain until she passed away in 2011, during which time her family fought the police for justice.

The proposed pavilion looking north
The proposed pavilion looking North

The Metropolitan police, along with Lambeth council, will contribute to the cost of the memorial.

The proposal is for a small open pavilion. Under the Rush Common Act 1806, Lambeth council must agree any new construction on the Rush Common area, which includes Windrush Square. It has agreed this formally.

The proposed pavilion looking west
The proposed pavilion looking West

An application for full planning permission must now be considered by the council.

Cherry Groce’s son, Lee Lawrence, approached Sir David Adjaye to discuss the possibility and purpose of a memorial.

Adjaye Associates say “the memorial will exist to create awareness and understanding of the life and experience of Cherry Groce and her family.

“Our proposal aim is to create a permanent place of reflection and inspiration. A place for the public to connect with the full concept of justice and reconciliation.

“In addition, the memorial seeks to highlight the importance of this event to modern British society and place it in its historical context.

“A key objective is for the memorial to be functional and help improve the general use of the square.

“Our proposal is respectful and considered within the site and context, we’ve worked hard to complement the existing features of the square and ensure the memorial will be thoughtfully embedded into the landscape design. We want to give back to the community as they have given for Cherry Groce.”

The proposed pavilion looking South
The proposed pavilion looking South

The architects say that their design for a triangular base with seating and a single column supporting a triangular partial green roof will complement the neighbouring African Caribbean War and Peace Memorial and surrounding angular landscaping and lawn areas.

Integrated benches will allow the community to engage with and benefit from the memorial pavilion, they say.

The proposed pavilion would be made of medium-dark grey reconstituted stone with a smooth surface.

It is planned that the memorial will be in place by next summer.

Full details of the proposal are on the Lambeth council website’s planning section.

Adjaye Associates have also produced proposals for a new building on the site of Sports Direct in Brixton which has been bought by the current owners of Brixton Village and Market Row.


  1. Brilliant idea!!! Does this also mean that the ground lights installed in the square a couple of years back and the ones in the tree, may be functional again? They have been out of service for a while now. In this day and age, should not maintenance be considered as apart as of the improvements that the council executes?

Comments are closed.