Sporle War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St Mary's Church, The Street, Sporle, Norfolk, PE32 2DS


Ordnance survey map of Sporle War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St Mary's Church, The Street, Sporle, Norfolk, PE32 2DS

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

Breckland (District Authority)
Sporle with Palgrave
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1921, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Sporle War Memorial, which is situated in St Mary’s 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 this local community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* a simple but well-executed granite cross.

Group value:

* with the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary.


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 Sporle as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Sporle, like many Norfolk war memorials, was situated within the churchyard and commemorates 15 (originally 14, a name added later) local servicemen who fell in the First World War and six men who fell in the Second World War. The memorial was unveiled on Sunday 7 August, 1921, by Sir Richard Winfrey, MP.

The memorial is situated inside a post and chain enclosure. The grassed area within its chained enclosure was block-paved over in c. 2016.


First World War memorial, 1921.

MATERIALS: grey granite

DESCRIPTION: Sporle War Memorial is located in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, The Street, Sporle, Norfolk. It is prominently situated at the entrance to the churchyard. It comprises a rough-hewn wheel-head cross with Sword of Sacrifice in relief, on a plinth with single-stepped base. This stands on a slightly domed “rockery” style base.

The base of the cross and the plinth bear the inscriptions in leaded lettering: TO THE/ GLORY OF GOD/ AND/ IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF SPORLE/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ (NAMES)/ THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE/ MAY THEY REST IN PEACE// ALSO OF/ THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE WAR 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES)/ JESU, MERCY.


War Memorial Register, accessed 3 April 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/56561
War Memorials Online, accessed 3 April 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/140396/
‘War is Hell: Norfolk MP Pleads for Peace: Sporle War Memorial Unveiled, ’Thetford & Watton Times and People's Weekly Journal, Saturday 13 August 1921, p10


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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