Wrestlingworth War Memorial


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1439019

Date first listed: 18-Oct-2016

Statutory Address: Churchyard of the Church of St Peter, Church Lane, Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire, SG19 2EU


Ordnance survey map of Wrestlingworth War Memorial
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Statutory Address: Churchyard of the Church of St Peter, Church Lane, Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire, SG19 2EU

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

District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wrestlingworth and Cockayne Hatley

National Grid Reference: TL2590647361


First World War memorial, designed by A Hunt, monumental mason, unveiled on 18 May 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Wrestlingworth War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: an elegant granite wheel-head cross with carved decorative details; * Group value: with the Church of St Peter (Grade I).


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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Wrestlingworth 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 by Lady Delia Peel on 18 May 1922 and dedicated by Rev R S Bagshaw. It was designed by A Hunt, monumental mason of Sandy, who was also responsible for constructing Sandy War Memorial. The planners went ahead without diocesan approval, for the Celtic cross was not deemed appropriate for the Church of England, and the use of granite not appropriate for the area – the Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended a cross in oak or chestnut.

After the Second World War, two more names were added to the memorial.

The memorial was repaired as part of a wider conservation project undertaken in 2006 with the help of grant aid from War Memorials Trust. In 2015 it was cleaned and the inscriptions were repainted.


MATERIALS: granite.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial comprises a Celtic-style wheel-head cross with knotwork carved in relief onto the front face. The cross rises from a tapering square shaft with a recessed front panel inscribed with TO THE/ GLORY/ OF GOD at its base. The shaft is set upon a trapezoid granite plinth on a single granite step. The whole is set upon a large single-stepped cement base.

On the front of the trapezoid plinth is a dedication in raised lead lettering which reads IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH/ WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN/ THE WAR 1914 – 1918/ (NAMES). The granite step has a further dedication AND 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).


War Memorials Online, accessed 21 July 2016 from www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/120699
War Memorials Register, accessed 21 July 2016 from www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/1844
War Memorials Trust, accessed 21 July 2016 from www.warmemorials.org/search-grants/?gID=635
Wrestlingworth War Memorial, Bedfordshire Times, 26 May 1922

End of official listing