Woodland War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Woodland Cemetery, B6282, Woodland, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL13 5RN


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Statutory Address:
Woodland Cemetery, B6282, Woodland, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL13 5RN

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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial designed by JJ Allison, unveiled 1920.

Reasons for Designation

Woodland War Memorial, which stands in the village cemetery, 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 sacrifices it made in the First World War; * Architectural interest: an unusual form of war memorial with an elaborately decorated commemorative bronze panel; * Degree of survival: unusually, the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country. 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 Woodland 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 in October 1920 by Colonel HC Watson of Barnard Castle. It commemorates eight servicemen who died in the First World War, 43 who served but returned, and 13 who were on Home Service with their units. The memorial cost £230, with material donated by the Cargo Fleet Iron Co Ltd (owners of Woodland Colliery). The memorial was designed by Mr JJ Allison of Lunton Hill and was built by Mr John Alderson. The bronze plaque recording the commemorative details was by Messrs Reid and Sons of Newcastle upon Tyne.


The memorial stands in front of the chapel to Woodland Cemetery (unlisted). It takes the form of a tall stone pillar with a simple capstone, rising from a two stepped base. The base stands on the corniced top of the broad plinth, which in turn stands on a three-stepped base.

A bronze panel is fixed into the recessed front of the plinth. The panel is made to look like a triple arcade in an ashlar wall, with two medallions in the wall above the arch columns. The left-hand medallion encloses the date MCMXIV, with MCMXIX in the right-hand medallion. The three round-headed arches carry the principal dedicatory inscription, reading from left to right: ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF THE / MEN OF WOODLAND VILLAGE AND DISTRICT WHO SERVED / IN THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR.

The commemorated names are recorded in lists under the arches. Along the bottom of the bronze panel is inscribed: FOR THE WORSHIP OF GOD AND THE BENEFIT OF THIS LAND BE STEADFAST AND LASTING IN ALL THINGS WITHOUT END / AND I COMMAND ALL TRUE MEN TO HELP EACH OTHER RIGHT FOR TO DO AND RIGHT FOR TO RECEIVE.

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, 6 March 2017.


North East War Memorials Project, accessed 03/01/2016 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=9210
War Memorials Online, accessed 6 March 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/209763
War Memorials Register, accessed 6 March 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/10391


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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