Burnhope War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Holmside Lane, Burnhope, Durham, DH7 0DP


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Statutory Address:
Holmside Lane, Burnhope, Durham, DH7 0DP

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

Location Description:
County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1920 to designs of Cackett and Burns Dick of Newcastle; with Second World War additions including a Garden of Remembrance.

Reasons for Designation

Burnhope War Memorial, erected 1920 with 1950 additions, 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 well-designed memorial by notable firm of architects Cacket and Burns Dick; * a sheltered contemplative space, that is well-executed in warm, handmade orange brick, with an oak-beamed roof; * said to be based on the design and materials of the Flemish farms, familiar to those who served in the First World War; * the addition of a Garden of Remembrance after the Second World War adds to the memorial's interest.


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.

Burnhope War Memorial was designed by Cackett and Burns Dick of Newcastle, with the granite plaques by Messrs Ayton of Blackhill. The total cost was £1,340-19s-4d, paid for by U A Ritson and Sons, owners of Burnhope Colliery. The memorial is in the form of a shelter in the style of Flemish farms of the 1914-1918 period. It was erected in 1920 on land gifted by Miss Allgood. It was unveiled at a ceremony on 9 September by Mr U A Ritson, at the same time of the opening of the gates of a newly created public park behind the memorial, which he had gifted to the village. A procession, including ex-servicemen, made its way through the village accompanied by the Burnhope Colliery Band. The memorial was dedicated by the Rev W Chapman, Vicar of Holmside with the Rev J Drummond (Wesleyan) and the Rev W Morrow (Primitive Methodist) in attendance. Representatives of the Durham Miners Association spoke at the dedication, as did Mr Ritson who said how pleased he was to be able to offer all returning miners a job, and was presented with a walking stick. Following the dedication, tea was provided by the colliery owners in the park for the village children and relatives of those who had served, followed by sports and Boy Scout and Girl Guide displays. A Roll of Honour was commissioned by Mr Ritson and a personalised copy (along with a letter) was sent to each of the bereaved families.

After the Second World War, the war memorial was repaired, a Garden of Remembrance was created to the front, and two additional memorial tablets containing the names of the Fallen in that conflict were added. A ceremony of unveiling took place on 10 June 1950 by Lord Lawson of Beamish (Lord Lieutenant of Durham); the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance and the re-Dedication of the memorial was conducted by the Rev Val Green. A Roll of Honour was once again produced (by the Burnhope and District United services Welcome Home Fund Committee) accompanied by a letter.

In 2017 the war memorial underwent further refurbishment, which included the replacement of roof tiles and brickwork. It was subsequently re-Dedicated at a service before the 2017 Remembrance Service, attended by civic dignitaries, local groups and others including The War Memorials Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and volunteers from the Durham Light Infantry. The name of A Moffit RS who fell in 1930 on the north-west frontier of India was added in 2017. The enclosing low brick walls, the railing to the front and the block-paving are late C20 additions.

Robert Burns Dick (1868-1954) was a notable regional architect, who in 1899 entered into partnership with James Cackett (1860-1928). The firm was responsible for designing a number of regional landmarks, many of which are listed on the National Heritage List for England including the Grade II Laing Art Gallery (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1903-1904, NHLE:1145885), the Grade II Spanish City (Whitley Bay, 1908-1910, NHLE: 1025339), the Grade II Neo-Jacobean Newcastle University Students Union building (1924, NHLE: 1355263) and the towers of the Tyne Bridge (Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, 1925-1929, 1248569).


First World War memorial, 1920 to designs of Cackett and Burns Dick of Newcastle; with Second World War additions including a Garden of Remembrance.

MATERIALS: slender, orange hand-made brick with a red tile roof and concrete plinth; white polished granite plaques and sandstone plaques.

PLAN: a U-shaped open-fronted shelter opening onto a square Garden of Remembrance.

DESCRIPTION: set on the north side of the main village street, the memorial is in the form of a shelter, constructed of slender orange brick laid in English garden wall bond beneath pitched tiled roofs. The rear side has five bays, the central, wider one occupied by a tall, rectangular-headed archway with a wooden lintel inscribed: TO THE GLORIOUS DEAD. It is surmounted by a wooden cross, whose pedestal is inscribed: 1919. The central archway is flanked to either side by paired, recessed seating alcoves (with replacement metal seats), repeated to the two-bay right and left returns. The inner rear walls of each bay are detailed by the addition of a brick soldier course above which there are three shallow recessed panels. Six of the engaged columns dividing the bays have a white polished granite plaque with incised lettering, blackened listing the 78 Fallen of the First World War in alphabetical order. The shelter is reached by three continuous stone steps, curving to either end. The roof of the shelter is supported by oak beams, and a sandstone plaque containing a Fallen serviceman in 1930 and two similar plaques recording the 19 Fallen of the Second World War are attached to the rear inside walls.

The war memorial opens onto a square formal garden, with a south opening through flower borders surrounding a central, kerbed area. The centre-piece is a sandstone bird bath inscribed on all four sides: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/LEST WE FORGET/THEY SHALL GROW NOT OLD/A GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE.


Books and journals
Usherwood, P, Beach, J, Morris, C, Public Sculpture of North-East England, (2000), 319
North East War Memorials Project record, accessed 26-11-2018 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=6480


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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