Freeland War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 8AZ


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Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 8AZ

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

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A First World War memorial of 1919, with later Second World War inscriptions.

Reasons for Designation

Freeland War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary, 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:   * a well-crafted, calvary-type, First World War memorial, with later Second World War inscriptions.   Group value:   * with the adjacent Grade II* listed Church of St Mary, and its Grade II listed Lychgate.


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. One such memorial was raised at Freeland as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. After the Second World War, the names of the fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial.   Freeland War Memorial was built by Messrs Farmer and Brindley and was unveiled on 8 November 1919. Farmer and Brindley were a prominent firm of architectural masons whose work features on a number of notable buildings, including the Natural History Museum, London. They also built a number of war memorials including the Grade II listed memorials at Orpington, Hilton and Duxford.   In 2017, conservation of the memorial was completed, with grant aid funding from War Memorials Trust.


A First World War memorial of 1919, with later Second World War inscriptions.

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located within the churchyard of the Church of St Mary and stands to the south-east of the church and to the south-west of the Lychgate. It faces north-east and has a gabled Calvary cross with a carved 'INRI' scroll above a sculpture of Jesus Christ on the cross. Lower down the shaft there is a carved shield with the text 'IHS', carved in relief. The tapering octagonal shaft, rises from a moulded, octagonal base. This stands on a two-stepped octagonal plinth, which in turn, is set upon a shallow square platform.

The north-east face of the base is inscribed 'JESU/ MERCY'. The top step of the plinth bears an inscription which runs across the three north-east facing sides and reads 'IN LOVING AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF FREELAND WHO LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1918'. The dates '1939' and '1945' are incised on two other faces of the step. The three faces of the bottom step directly below the First World War inscription list the names of eight fallen from the First World War. Seven further names are incised on three other sides of the step.


Imperial War Museum WMA, accessed 3 June 2019 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 3 June 2019 from


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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