Swimbridge War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St James, Church Lane, Swimbridge, Devon, EX32 0PP


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Statutory Address:
Church of St James, Church Lane, Swimbridge, Devon, EX32 0PP

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

North Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial with later additions for the Second World War, set within an enclosure formed by eight granite posts joined by chains.

Reasons for Designation

Swimbridge War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* 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-crafted war memorial in the form of a granite obelisk enclosed by granite posts and chains.

Group value:

* it has group value with the Grade I listed Church of St James and its lychgate (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 Swimbridge as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The names of five parishioners who fell during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial. The date of construction is not known, however the war memorial was in place by the 1930s and is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1956.

The memorial stands in the churchyard, to the north-west of the Church of St James (Grade I) and a short distance from the lychgate (Grade II).


First World War memorial with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: constructed of granite.

DESCRIPTION: comprising a plain obelisk on a moulded capital above a substantial square tapered plinth and a two-stepped base. It sits inside a square enclosure formed by eight granite posts joined together by chains.

The main inscription reads: (south face) TO THE GLORIOUS DEAD/ (7 NAMES); (west face) (7 NAMES); (north face) 1914/ + / 1919; (east face) (7 NAMES). An additional inscription on a rectangular plaque attached to the north face of the plinth reads: 1939 1945/ (5 NAMES).


UK National Inventory of War Memorials - Swymbridge (Swimbridge), accessed 25/03/2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/25691
War Memorials Online - Swimbridge, accessed 25/03/2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/154259/
North Devon Journal, Thursday 13 November 1930, p5


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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