Witheridge War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Witheridge War Memorial, St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, Witheridge, Devon, EX16 8AF


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Statutory Address:
Witheridge War Memorial, St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, Witheridge, Devon, EX16 8AF

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

North Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A First World War memorial, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Witheridge War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St John the Baptist, 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: as a fine example of a rough-hewn granite cross with relief-carved decoration; *Group value: with the Church of St John the Baptist (Grade I), the churchyard gate piers, gates and railings (Grade II) and the nearby K6 telephone kiosk (Grade II).


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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Witheridge as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 17 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The names of the five parishioners who fell during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.


A First World War memorial, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.


DESCRIPTION The memorial stands in a prominent roadside location inside the railings (listed Grade II) on the southern edge of the churchyard of the Grade I-listed Church of St John the Baptist. A gate is set in the railings at this point, and a short flight of steps leads to the memorial from the adjacent pavement.

The memorial comprises a roughly-hewn cross in the Celtic style, the face of which is decorated with a relief-carved inverted longsword. The cross stands on a roughly-hewn trapezoidal plinth, on top of a three-stepped base.

The main inscription, in blackened lettering on the smoothed front of the plinth reads: 1914 - 1919 / FOR GOD, KING & COUNTRY / IN MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING MEN OF THIS PARISH, followed by 17 names in two columns.

Beneath this, on the front face of the upper step of the base, is the additional inscription: 1939 1945, followed by five names in two columns.


Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register – Witheridge Church , accessed 07/02/2019 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/25990
War Memorials Online – Witheridge Church WW1 & WW2 , accessed 07/02/2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/


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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