War memorial outside All Saints' Church, Marple


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
The churchyard, All Saints' Church, 155 Church Lane, Marple, Stockport, SK6 7LD


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Statutory Address:
The churchyard, All Saints' Church, 155 Church Lane, Marple, Stockport, SK6 7LD

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

Stockport (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial by WA Pite FRIBA, unveiled 1920.

Reasons for Designation

The war memorial outside All Saints’ Church, Marple 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; * Unusually the cross has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.

Architectural interest: * A tall and imposing memorial cross with intricate carvings.

Group value * With the New Church of All Saints, the Lychgate to the Church of All Saints, and the Remains of the Church of All Saints (all Grade II-listed).


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 which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised outside All Saints’ Church, Marple as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

In April 1919 the Church’s War Memorial Committee met to consider the merits of three different designs. A cross design by WA Pite FRIBA was selected and discussions followed to choose the type of stone and arrange fundraising. A scaled-up version of the architect’s drawing, showing the memorial at full size, was displayed at a public meeting held at the church school on 15 May 1919.

The stonework was provided by Messrs Earp, Hobbs and Miller, architectural sculptors of Manchester, whilst the plaques were by Messrs Bainbridge and Reynolds of London, with chains supplied by Messrs Macfarlane and Co of the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The total cost exceeded £600, comprising £55 in architect’s fees and £555 12s 5d for the memorial. It was unveiled and dedicated by the Bishop of Warrington on 15 June 1920.


The Hopton Wood stone memorial cross stands outside the west front of the New Church of All Saints (Grade II), close to the lychgate and south of the remains of the old church (both Grade II-listed). It takes the form of a tall Celtic cross standing on a broad plinth. The plinth carries three bronze plaques.

The wheel-head cross is ornamented in an interlace pattern carved in relief in the circlet, and a rose at the centre of the cross head. Below, on the upper face of the cross shaft, is an intricate carving of the Tree of Life. Panels, carved in relief lower down on the cross shaft to front and rear, include a pattern reminiscent of heraldic vair. Smaller panels with this decorative motif are also carved to the shaft sides.

The cross shaft rises from a socket stone inscribed: (west face) THEIR NAME/ LIVETH FOR/ EVERMORE, (south face) WHO STANDS/ IF FREEDOM/ FALL, (north face) WHO DIES/ IF ENGLAND/ LIVE.

The east face of the broad corniced base, rectangular on plan, is incised with a dedication reading: THIS MONUMENT/ IS ERECTED BY A GRATEFUL TOWNSHIP AND/ MANY SORROWING RELATIVES AND FRIENDS/ 1919/ THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO THE DEATH/ REV: 12: 11. The principal dedicatory inscription cast into the west-facing bronze panel reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE MARPLE MEN/ WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918 A.D./ (NAMES). Further names are recorded on the north- and south-facing plaques.

The plinth stands on a stepped base, with three steps to the front and two to the rear (to accommodate the fall of ground), and a paved platform. Low stone posts carrying a chain encircle the cross.

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


War Memorials Online, accessed 7 June 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/156314/
War Memorials Register, accessed 20 July 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/18427
Correspondence from the architect, receipts, and editions of the Parish Magazine from May and June 1919.


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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