Wilby War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
The churchyard, St Mary's Church, Church Lane, Wilby, Northamptonshire, NN8 2UG


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Statutory Address:
The churchyard, St Mary's Church, Church Lane, Wilby, Northamptonshire, NN8 2UG

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

Wellingborough (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


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

Reasons for Designation

Wilby War Memorial, standing in the churchyard, 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 stone memorial cross; * Group value: with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Mary the Virgin.


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 Wilby 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 13 November 1920 by Sir Arthur de Capell Brooke at a well-attended ceremony. It commemorates 18 local servicemen who died during the First World War. Following the Second World War the names of four men who died in that conflict were added.


The memorial stands in the south-east corner of the churchyard of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*). It comprises a c4.5 m tall stone cross with a Latin head on a tapering square-sectioned shaft. That is set on an octagonal plinth standing on a three-stepped octagonal base.

Around the upper part of the plinth is inscribed THIS CROSS WAS ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE/ THE MEN OF WILBY WHO FELL/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919. The names of those who died are recorded on the panels of the plinth. On the base of the plinth in small lettering is inscribed GREATER LOVE HATH/ NO MAN THAN THIS THAT/ HE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE/ FOR HIS FRIENDS. The date range 1939–1945, with the names of those who died in that conflict, was added to the rear of the plinth.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 20 February 2017.


War Memorials Online, accessed 20 February 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/216856
War Memorials Register, accessed 31/10/2016 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/15023
“War Memorials”, The Northampton Mercury, 19 November 1920, p4


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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