Humshaugh War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
c90m west of Simonburn Cottage, Humshaugh, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4AR


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Statutory Address:
c90m west of Simonburn Cottage, Humshaugh, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4AR

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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Humshaugh War Memorial, which stands at the roadside to the west of the village, 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.


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 Humshaugh as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Early suggestions for a war memorial in Humshaugh included a village hall, a new bed for Newcastle General Hospital, housing for ex-servicemen, and a cross. In the event a memorial hall (not listed) was built, opening in 1928, whilst memorial plaques were raised in both the parish and Methodist churches. The memorial obelisk was unveiled on 7 February 1920 by Major-General Sir RA Kerr Montgomery KCMG, CB, DSO and dedicated by the Vicar, Reverend TH Pitman, in commemoration of 15 local servicemen who died in the First World War. The memorial was paid for by public subscription whilst the site was given by Major EP Clayton of Walwick. It was designed by WR Knowles of Newcastle upon Tyne and built by Mr Aves of Hexham. Following the Second World War the names of three men who died in that conflict were added.


The memorial stands on the south side of the main road, to the west of the village. It is within the buffer zone of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Hadrian’s Wall) World Heritage Site. The Heworth freestone monument is c6m tall and takes the form of an obelisk, square on plan, rising from a slightly tapering plinth. The plinth stands on a low step. At the base of the obelisk, on the front face, a rectangular cartouche with a Tudor rose in each corner carries the inscription TO THE/ MEMORY/ OF THOSE/ WHO FELL/ IN THE/ GREAT WAR with 1914 above and 1919 below. The First World War names are recorded on the front face of the plinth, organised by regiment. The Second World War names are recorded on the right face, below the dates 1939 – 1945.

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, 27 July 2017.


North East War Memorials Project, accessed 27/07/2016 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 27 July 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 9 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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