Scarning War Memorial Cross


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
The churchyard, Church of St Peter and St Paul, Dereham Road, Scarning, Norfolk, NR19 2PF


Ordnance survey map of Scarning War Memorial Cross
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Statutory Address:
The churchyard, Church of St Peter and St Paul, Dereham Road, Scarning, Norfolk, NR19 2PF

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

Breckland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Portland stone First World War memorial cross, erected 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Scarning War Memorial Cross, which stands 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 and richly ornamented Portland stone memorial cross, in the Celtic style.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Peter and St Paul (Grade I-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 Scarning as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 12 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The cross was erected in the autumn of 1920. Following the Second World War the names of two men who died in that conflict were added to the memorial. The memorial was restored in 1999.


The Portland stone memorial cross stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Peter and St Paul (Grade I-listed). It is prominently situated by the churchyard path in front of the church’s south porch. It comprises an approximately 3m tall wheel-head cross with interlace carving and decorated hemispherical bosses ornamenting the cross-head. The cross rises from a small tapering pedestal that stands on a three-stepped base, square on plan.

The commemorated First World War names, incised and painted black, are listed on the front face of the cross shaft. The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the pedestal reads TO THE GLORY OF ALMIGHTY GOD/ AND IN UNDYING MEMORY OF/ OUR BELOVED LADS FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR. The dates 1914 - 1919 are recorded on the step below. An inscription on the riser of the middle step reads ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO THEM O LORD/ AND MAY LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE UPON THEM.

The later dedication recorded on the south face of the pedestal reads ALSO IN MEMORY OF/ (2 NAMES). The dates 1939 – 1945 are recorded on the step below.


Books and journals
Hartley, N., Scarning 1914-1918. A Village's Sacrifice., (2014), p29
War Memorials Online, accessed 9 April 2018 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 9 April 2018 from


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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