Willen War Memorial Obelisk


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
c27m east of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, The Hooke, Milton Road, Willen, Milton Keynes, MK15 9AB


Ordnance survey map of Willen War Memorial Obelisk
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Statutory Address:
c27m east of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, The Hooke, Milton Road, Willen, Milton Keynes, MK15 9AB

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

Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
Campbell Park
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial obelisk, unveiled 1924.

Reasons for Designation

Willen War Memorial Obelisk, 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 First World War.

Architectural interest:

* a simple yet poignant granite memorial obelisk; * unusually, the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.

Group value: * with the Church of St Mary Magdalene (Grade I) and the Grade II-listed School House, Brook Farmhouse, and the wall surrounding the church yard with gates at east and west ends.


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 Willen as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by three members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. A meeting of the Newport Pagnell Rural District Council on 31 October 1923 confirmed that there was no objection to the proposed location, and the memorial was duly unveiled and dedicated by the Suffragan Bishop of Buckingham on 5 April 1924.


The approximately 2.5m tall war memorial stands in the lawn outside the Grade II-listed Wall and Gates to the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary Magdalene, in front of the Grade II-listed School House and Brook Farmhouse. It takes the form of an obelisk, square on plan, in rough-hewn grey granite. The obelisk stands on a chamfered pedestal and base.

A panel cut back into the front face of the pedestal bears the inscription in applied metal lettering, reading 1914 + 1919/ IN HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS PARISH/ WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ (3 NAMES). The names are recorded with rank and service, regiment, or corps.


War Memorials Online, accessed 29 April 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/178935/
War Memorials Register, accessed 29 April 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/8173
“Rural District Council”, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, 1 November 1923, p6
North Bucks Standard, 12 April 1924


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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