Plenmeller War Memorial Cairn


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
c1,850m south-west of Penpeugh, Plenmeller Common, Plenmeller, Northumberland, NE47 7DE


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Statutory Address:
c1,850m south-west of Penpeugh, Plenmeller Common, Plenmeller, Northumberland, NE47 7DE

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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Plenmeller with Whitfield
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial.

Reasons for Designation

Plenmeller War Memorial Cairn, which stands on Plenmeller Common, 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 First World War; * Design: a drystone cairn built in local materials using traditional construction techniques.


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 on Plenmeller Common by local shepherds as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of their local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial, also known as The Currick, was built before 1939. Shepherds known to have worked the area at that time include Mr Johnson, Mr Collins, Mr Short, and Mr Wighams. It was cared for during the Second World War by Mr Short. When opencast coal mining commenced in 1991, the promontory on which the memorial stands was worked around. A plaque raised by UK Coal was dedicated on 30 July 2007.


The memorial stands at the 300m contour, c1,850m south-west of Penpeugh and c2,400m due east of Plenmeller Road. It takes the form of a carefully constructed dry-stone cairn, c2m tall, raised on a stone outcrop overlooking former open-cast coal workings to the south.

The inscription on a metal plaque fixed to a concrete base in front of the memorial reads WAR MEMORIAL CAIRN/ ERECTED BY/ TYNEDALE SHEPHERDS/ IN MEMORY OF ALL WHO DIED IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918.

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, 23 November 2017.


North East War Memorials Project, accessed 07/11/2016 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 23 November 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 23 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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