South Molton War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
South Molton Town Cemetery, Mill Street, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4AT


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Statutory Address:
South Molton Town Cemetery, Mill Street, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4AT

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

North Devon (District Authority)
South Molton
National Grid Reference:


War memorial cross, 1921.

Reasons for Designation

South Molton War Memorial, 1921, 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 an imposing and well-executed example of a Celtic wheel-cross type of memorial which survives unaltered.

Group value:

* forming an impressive entrance to the cemetery, with the two Grade I cemetery chapels and the Grade II-listed lodge.


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 South Molton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. There was some local resistance to erecting a memorial, with several parishioners raising objections and stating a preference for a more functional memorial

The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 5 March 1921 by Earl Fortescue, Lord Lieutenant of Devon and High Steward of South Molton.

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


War memorial cross, 1921.

MATERIALS: the memorial is constructed from roughly-hewn grey granite.

PLAN: it stands in the forecourt to the town cemetery, aligned with the central axis of the burial ground.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial consists of a Celtic cross with a tapering square shaft, standing upon a tapering plinth an octagonal base of three steps. The head of the cross has a relief moulding of an interweaving Celtic pattern.

The main inscription in leaded lettering on north face of the plinth reads: ‘IN GRATEFUL / REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE / FROM THIS PARISH / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE / GREAT WAR / 1914-1918 / “GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS”’. The other faces are inscribed with the 47 names of the fallen soldiers.

A further inscription commemorating those who died in the Second World War is inscribed on a rectangular stone tablet at the foot of the memorial: 1939-1945 / (23 NAMES).


South Molton, Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, accessed 10/04/2019 from
South Molton, War Memorials Online database, accessed 10/04/2019 from
‘South Molton Heroes, The War Memorial Scheme: Some Plain Talk’, Western Times, 28/10/1919
‘South Molton’, Western Times, Friday 04/02/1921
‘War Memorial Unveiled at Southmolton’, North Devon Journal, 10/04/1921


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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