Princetown War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Junction of Tavistock Road and Station Cottages, Princetown, West Devon, PL20 6QF


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Statutory Address:
Junction of Tavistock Road and Station Cottages, Princetown, West Devon, PL20 6QF

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

West Devon (District Authority)
Dartmoor Forest
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial cross, unveiled 1921, with later additions.

Reasons for Designation

Princetown War Memorial is recommended for listing 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 sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20 and C21.

Architectural interest:

* as well-composed and well-constructed war memorial which survives unaltered.


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 Princetown as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was unveiled on 12 November 1921 by the Honourable Mrs Morgan, wife of the Governor of Dartmoor Prison, during an ecumenical ceremony led by Reverend DEG Lloyd, the prison chaplain (in the absence of the parish vicar because of illness).

The names of four parishioners who died during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial, as well as one further First World War soldier. The name of one soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2011 has also been added, along with two soldiers, identified by research during 2016, who died in the First World War.


First World War memorial cross, unveiled 1921, with later additions.

MATERIALS: constructed from Dartmoor granite.

PLAN: the memorial stands on the south side of Tavistock Road, 32m south-east of the Church of St Michael (Grade II*-listed).

DESCRIPTION: it takes the form of a 3.5m tall cross with chamfered edges, stopped towards the foot of the shaft. The cross stands on a two-stage plinth, square on plan. The plinth is raised on a two-stepped, octagonal, base.

The principal dedicatory inscription, in applied metal lettering, to the front (north) face of the upper stage of the plinth reads ‘IN PROUD, GRATEFUL, AND / HONOURED MEMORY OF / THE MEN OF THIS PARISH / OF PRINCETOWN, WHO GAVE / THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE / OF THEIR COUNTRY DURING / THE GREAT WAR, 1914 – 1918’. The south face in inscribed "THEY DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE". The 33 names of the fallen are listed on the other sides of the plinth.

The First World War names are listed on faces of the base below. The Second World War inscription, to the front face of the upper step of the base, reads ‘1939 - 1945’ followed by four names, and on the tread of the step below, the most recent inscription reads ‘2001 – 2014’ followed by one name.

The memorial is surrounded by a granite cobble pavement, octagonal on plan, with eight low pyramidal corner posts, also in granite, carrying a chain.


Dartmoor Forest Parish Council Minutes for the Parish Council Meeting on 23 June 2016, accessed 11/01/2019 from
Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, 'Princetown', accessed 11/01/2019 from
War Memorials Online database, 'Princetown', accessed 11/01/2019 from
Devon Historic Environment Record, ref MDV103099: Princetown War Memorial
'Princetown Tribute', The Western Morning News and Mercury, 14 November 1921, p3


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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