Cowshill War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Junction of the A689 and B6295, Cowshill, County Durham, DL13 1AD


Ordnance survey map of Cowshill War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Junction of the A689 and B6295, Cowshill, County Durham, DL13 1AD

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Cowshill War Memorial, which stands at the roadside on the B6295, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: a cross decorated with carved interlace in the Celtic style.


Cowshill War Memorial was unveiled on 27 May 1922 by Lt-Col KJW Leather, 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, and dedicated by the vicar of Heathery Cleugh, Reverend J Harrison. The site was given by JJ Peart of Bents House, Cowshill, whilst the memorial cross cost £170. It commemorates seven local servicemen from Lanehead Ward, including JM Peart, who died during the First World War. Following the Second World War the names of three men who died in that conflict were added.


The memorial stands in a small stone-walled enclosure on the north side of the B6295, overlooking Weardale and with extensive views of the surrounding moorland. At c410m above sea level it is said to be the highest, and perhaps most isolated, war memorial in County Durham.

The stone memorial takes the form of the Iona cross. The front face of the cross head is ornamented with an interlace pattern carved in low relief. Below on the cross shaft is carved 1914/ LEST/ WE/ FORGET/ 1918, interspersed with decorative flowers. The cross shaft rises from a rough-hewn plinth that stands on a low square step.

The front face of the plinth bears the principal dedicatory inscription IN HONOUR/ OF THE MEN OF/ THIS PARISH/ WHO FELL IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ (7 NAMES). To the left of the text a sheathed sword, encircled by a wreath and appearing to be hung up over the plinth by the sword belt, is carved in low relief. In front of the low step a small rectangular stone is inscribed 1939 – 1945/ (3 NAMES).

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 7 February 2017.


North East War Memorials Project, accessed 15/06/2016 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 7 February 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 7 February 2017 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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