Ainstable War Memorial Lych-Gate


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of All Saints, Ainstable, Cumbria, CA4 9QN


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Statutory Address:
Church of All Saints, Ainstable, Cumbria, CA4 9QN

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

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


War memorial lych-gate, 1934, by Mr J F Martindale.

Reasons for Designation

This war memorial lych-gate is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a dignified and handsome structure, constructed of good quality local stone and a wooden super-structure made from old ship timbers.

Historic interest:

* it was designed from the outset as a war memorial, forming an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on a small rural community, and the sacrifices it has made during the First World War; * the timbers used in the construction of the structure came from HMS Defiance, the last wooden walled line-of-battleship launched for the Royal Navy in 1861.

Group value:

* it has spatial and functional group value with the Grade II-listed Church of St Michael.


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.

The lych-gate to the churchyard of the Grade II-listed Church of St Michael, Ainstable, was erected as a war memorial in 1934 and replaced a mid-C19 lych-gate that was built outside of the churchyard boundary. The new gateway, commanding extensive views of the surrounding countryside, was constructed with an oak frame and gates made from timbers taken from HMS Defiance, the last wooden walled line-of-battleship launched for the Royal Navy in 1861, and broken up in 1932. The gate was designed by Mr J F Martindale, the stonework was carried out by Issac Armstrong of Low Hesket, the carpentry by R & G Harrison of Ainstable, and the tablet was carved by Messrs Beattie of Carlisle. The unveiling and dedication of the lych-gate in June 1934 was preceded by a British Legion service of remembrance, attended by a large gathering of parishioners and was officiated over by the Reverend H F Tilbury and the Reverend S Steele Smith. It was dedicated by the Reverend Tilbury and the tablet was unveiled by Mr J W Mallinson and Mr E L Proud, who respectively served during the war in the Royal Navy and the Army. Originally the tablet displayed 11 names; however, one name has since been removed.


Lych-gate, 1934, by Mr J F Martindale.

MATERIALS: coursed quarry-faced Lazonby Fell red sandstone walls, supporting an oak timber frame, and a slate clad hipped roof, with ridge tiles. Borrowdale slate memorial tablet.

PLAN: rectangular in plan, with the ridge set at a right angle to the pedestrian passageway beneath.

DESCRIPTION: the lych-gate forms the churchyard entrance in its southern boundary wall. It has a symmetrical composition with a chamfered Tudor-arch timber-framed entrance passage, flanked by masonry carrier walls, with flat topped rough-hewn quarry-faced coping stones and quoins. Each carrier wall has a shallow u-plan, the projections in the front elevation forming gate posts for a pair of ledged and braced palisade gates, with a looped wrought-iron latch and strap hinges. A low wall with flat coping stones attached to the right (eastern) carrier wall extends forwards and terminates in a post with a pyramidal stone finial. A memorial tablet recording the ten names of the fallen is attached to the inside face of the left (western) carrier wall, and it has a rectangular space cut into it, where a name has been removed. The plaque is inscribed: - IN MEMORIAM / 1914 - 1918 / (names in two columns) / THEY HAVE PASSED "OUT OF THE WARFARE OF THIS WORLD INTO THE PEACE OF GOD". The timber frame is carried on moulded sill plates, with a square post at each corner supported by a moulded strut, with the space between occupied by a pair of wall posts. A pair of wall plates and the two tie beams form a frame that carries the common rafter roof with exposed rafters. The rear elevation matches that of the front, apart from there being no gates.


Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register, accessed 17 January 2019 from
World War One War memorials - Cumbria County Council, accessed 17 January 2019 from
An Ainstable Memorial - Lych-Gate of Oak from Historic Battleship, The Penrith Observer, Tuesday June 12, 1934, Page 6, Column 2, Paragraph 1
Diocesan Yearbook 1925 p102
Local Applications at the Consistory Court - Lych-Gate at Ainstable,The Penrith Observer, Tuesday April 15, 1924, Page 3, Column 4, Paragraph 1


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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