Keymer War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
c25m south-west of St Cosmas and St Damian Church, Keymer Road, Keymer, West Sussex, BN6 8RB


Ordnance survey map of Keymer War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
c25m south-west of St Cosmas and St Damian Church, Keymer Road, Keymer, West Sussex, BN6 8RB

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

West Sussex
Mid Sussex (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


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

Reasons for Designation

Keymer War Memorial, which stands outside the parish church, 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:

* a simple yet poignant granite memorial wheel-head cross, in the Celtic style.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Cosmas and St Damian and The Greyhound Public House (both 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 at Keymer as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 39 parishioners who died in the First World War. In early 1919 a proposal had been made to convert Keymer manor house into a public hall, library, and garden as a war memorial, whilst a meeting held in late February discussed erecting a granite cross for a war memorial at the parish church. The idea of a hall was still being discussed in January 1921, but by that time the cross had already been erected. Following the Second World War, the names of 12 men who died in that conflict were added to the cross.


The memorial cross stands in a grassed area between the road and the churchyard of the Grade II-listed Church of St Cosmas and St Damian. It comprises a simple rough-hewn granite wheel-head cross rising from a tapering pedestal. The pedestal stands on a base, square on plan, made of granite blocks. The inscriptions are in applied metal lettering.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the pedestal reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THIS/ PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919/ (NAMES)/ “THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOR EVERMORE”. More names are listed on two of the pedestal’s other faces. A raked granite slab added to the base is inscribed AND IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).


War Memorials Online, accessed 9 March 2018 from
‘A Public Hall for Keymer’, Mid Sussex Times, 4 March 1919, p6
‘Church Council Meeting at Keymer’, Mid Sussex Times, 1 February 1021, p6
‘Hassocks-Keymer War Memorial’, Mid Sussex Times, 11 February 1919, p3
‘Keymer Church – War Memorial’, Mid Sussex Times, 25 February 1919, p5
‘Keymer’, Mid Sussex Times, 11 January 1921, p6


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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