Wadsworth War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Smeekin Hill, Pecket Well, Calderdale, HX7 7AQ


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Statutory Address:
Smeekin Hill, Pecket Well, Calderdale, HX7 7AQ

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

Calderdale (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1923, by Dent Parker, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Wadsworth War Memorial, 1923, 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 substantial and prominently sited memorial in the form of an obelisk that has become a cherished local landmark; * it is a well-designed and well-executed memorial employing good quality materials and craftsmanship.


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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.  One such memorial was raised at Wadsworth as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 34 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The land on which the memorial stands was donated by Mr Wear of Crimsworth Farm and fundraising efforts by a War Memorial Committee began in early 1923, with regular adverts being placed in the local paper to encourage public subscription. It is thought that the choice of a prominent site and the obelisk design may have been influenced by the Stoodley Pike Monument, which can be seen about 5km to the south-west. The memorial was unveiled on 23 September 1923 by Major Robert H Baker and was dedicated by the Reverend J Barnett. The cost of the memorial was £624, all of which was raised through public subscription, and it was built to the designs of Mr Dent Parker, Messrs Oldfield Watson and Sons of Hebden Bridge. In August 1924, the deeds to the memorial were passed from Mr Wear to Wadsworth Parish Council. Following the Second World War, an additional tablet was added to the memorial to record the Fallen from that conflict.

The memorial is situated at the top of Smeekin Hill overlooking Crimsworth Dene and the valley of Hebden Water; it is raised on an earth platform that extends out from the natural slope of the valley edge.


First World War memorial, 1923, by Dent Parker, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: rough-hewn sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: Wadsworth War Memorial is constructed from rough-hewn, rusticated stone blocks and takes the form of a 12.5m tall obelisk, with a stepped base, surmounting a square-plan pedestal; the whole is set on a square stone base. The south face of the pedestal is recessed and bears four ashlar stone tablets. The central tablet has chamfered edges and is incised with an inscription, which reads: PARISH OF WADSWORTH/ TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO/ GAVE ALL AND IN GRATITUDE/ TO THOSE WHO OFFERED ALL/ FOR THE SACRED CAUSE/ OF WORLD PEACE/ IN THE GREAT WAR./ 1914 – 1918. To either side of this, is a tablet that lists the names of 17 men, combining to give a total of 34 Fallen from the First World War. A secondary tablet was added beneath the central tablet after the Second World War, which reads: 1939 - 45/ [NAMES] recording the six Fallen from that conflict.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 16/09/2019


Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register - Wadsworth Obelisk, accessed 6 June 2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/2611
Traces of War - War Memorial Wadsworth Area, accessed 6 June 2019 from https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/16674/War-Memorial-Wadsworth-Area.htm
War Memorials Online - Wadsworth, accessed 6 June 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/195924
“Parish of Wadsworth”, Todmorden & District News, (9 March 1923), p4
“Wadsworth Tribute to the Fallen”, Todmorden Advertiser and Hebden Bridge Newsletter, (28 September 1923), p6
“Wadsworth War Memorial”, Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, (22 August 1924), p13


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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