Howden-le-Wear War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
High Street, Howden-le-Wear, County Durham, DL15 8EX


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Statutory Address:
High Street, Howden-le-Wear, County Durham, DL15 8EX

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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1924, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Howden-le-Wear War Memorial, which stands on High Street, 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: an elegant obelisk in the Classical style, incorporating imagery symbolising the end of conflict.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Howden-le-Wear as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1924 by Captain RA Howe, and dedicated by the Vicar, in commemoration of 33 local servicemen who died in the First World War. By Mr JG Brown of Wolsingham, it cost £217. Following the Second World War the names of nine men who died in that conflict were added.


The granite memorial, c4m tall, stands on the east side of High Street, close to the junction with Bridge Street. It takes the form of an obelisk, square on plan, rising from the pediment of a tapering pedestal. A sheathed sword, carved in low relief on the front face of the obelisk, hangs from its sword belt from the obelisk’s pyramidal top, with a wreath carved below. The pedestal stands on a two-stage base, that stands on two low steps. The memorial is surrounded by a square enclosure formed of a plain metal rail suspended from low, pyramidal, posts.

The admonition LEST WE FORGET is inscribed on the front-facing pediment. Below this, on the front face of the pedestal, the principal dedicatory inscription reads TO THE HONOUR AND IN SACRED/ MEMORY OF THE BRAVE MEN FROM/ HOWDEN-LE-WEAR AND DISTRICT/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1918/ (NAMES). The names continue onto the upper stage of the base, followed by 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES) and further Second World War names recorded on the lower stage also.

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 27/07/2016 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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