Forton, Cleveley and Holleth War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
in the angle of the junction between School Lane and Wallace Lane


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

Location Description:
in the angle of the junction between School Lane and Wallace Lane
Wyre (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial of 1921 with Second World War additions and relocated in 1996.

Reasons for Designation

Forton War Memorial, which stands in a small memorial garden in the centre of the village, 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: * for the design interest including the wheelhead cross with interlace carving, and a carved shield with crest.


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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 erected in Forton, for the district covered by the parishes of Forton, Cleveley and Holleth. The trustees of the Whinney Brow property donated the site, and subscription raised the necessary funds. The memorial was unveiled on Thursday 27 January 1921 by Gen Sir Archibald Hunter MP. The ceremony was led by Mr Simpson of Low Abbey, with Rev CBS Spooner (vicar of Shireshead), Rev J Meyer (Forton Congregational Church) and Fr Dawson (Scorton) in attendance, together with several other local dignitaries. A large number of residents attended including relatives of the fallen, and the children from the school. Gen Hunter noted that five of the fallen belonged to the King’s Own Royal (Lancaster) Regiment. The regiment suffered over 6,400 deaths during the war, and only the previous day a memorial window to all the fallen of the regiment was unveiled in the King’s Own chapel at Lancaster parish church (St Mary’s Priory).

The memorial committee apparently received some criticism regarding the final chosen form of the memorial. However, at the unveiling the chairman justified the choice of a cross as an ancient symbol of sacrifice and stated the hope that the cross standing beside the increasingly busy and important road would be a reminder of the sacrifice made by those men it commemorated. In 1925 Forton Parish Council took over responsibility for maintaining the memorial, but asked Cleveley and Holleth Parish Councils to contribute to the annual cost. After the Second World War an inscription was added to the left side of the plinth, with the names of the five fallen of that war.

The memorial originally stood at the junction of the A6 with School Lane. A historic photograph shows it within a paved circular area with a stone kerb to the rear of the memorial, and metal estate fencing behind. It is marked in this location on the 1933 1:10,560 Ordnance Survey (OS) map surveyed between 1930 and 1931. It is also shown in the same location on the 1971 1:2,500 OS map. It is thought to have been removed in 1993 and re-erected at the present site (in front of the former school) in 1996 where it stands in a small memorial garden on a road junction. Although the details surrounding the move are not clear, the memorial was apparently damaged in road accidents. It has been stated that the plinth was too badly damaged to be re-used, and was lost in storage. However, comparison of the current memorial with the historic photo suggests that both the plinth and circular base are original, based on the carved inscription on the plinth and a distinctive stone indent repair in the edge of the base.


First World War memorial of 1921 with additional names of the Second World War, relocated in 1996.

MATERIALS: grey and buff sandstone.

PLAN: standing on a circular base.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial comprises a wheel-head cross alisee, shaft, plinth and circular base. It faces east and has an overall height of approximately 2.9m. The cross is of grey sandstone, with incised lines around the edge and along the arms, and with a small panel of incised interlace on the front face of the foot. The shaft is of buff sandstone, rectangular in section, slightly wider than the foot of the cross, slightly tapering and with rounded corners. Its front face has a relief carving of a shield bearing a crown. Beneath this, in relief within inset labels, it is inscribed:


The plinth is slightly wider than the shaft, also rectangular in section and also slightly tapering. Its front face is incised with the 15 names of the fallen.The other faces are plain, apart from the left face of the plinth, which is inscribed in incised lettering:


Below this are listed the five names of the fallen of that war.

The base is circular, of four quadrants.


'Forton, Cleveley and Holleth War Memorial', article in Lancashire Daily Post 14/04/1925, in British Newspaper Archive, accessed 03/10/18 from
'Forton's Wayside Cross', article in Lancashire Daily Post 28/01/1921, in British Newspaper Archive, accessed 03/10/18 from
Imperial War Museums register, accessed 01/10/18 from
War Memorials Online register, accessed 01/10/18 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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