First World War Memorial Clock Tower, 1927, by Mr J R White, with Second World War additions.
Reasons for Designation
Romanby War Memorial Clock Tower, 1927, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the two World Wars.
* a well-executed and handsome memorial, employing good quality design and craftsmanship, taking the form of a four stage clock tower, in the form of a tall narrow cenotaph.
* It also benefits from a spatial group value with the listed Grade II Church of St James the Great (National Heritage List for England: 1380322).
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 Romanby as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 14 members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.
The Memorial Clock Tower was designed by the North Riding County Council architect Mr J R White, and was built by Mr D Oakley of Northallerton, at a cost of £500, raised by subscription. It was erected on a triangular plot of land donated by the auctioneer Mr John Todd of Brampton, situated at the junction of Harewood Lane and Ainderby Road, and is over-looked by the Grade II-listed Church of St James the Great. It was unveiled at a well-attended ceremony on 19 March 1927. The roundels in the two side elevations of the clock tower were intended to be fitted with bronze laurel wreaths, but these were not installed.
In due course the surrounding ground was made into a memorial garden, which was completed in 1930. Following the Second World War, two granite plaques were added to the memorial, bearing the names of the Fallen from that conflict. The garden was refurbished and re-landscaped between 2014 and 2015, as part of the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
First World War memorial, 1927 by Mr J R White, with Second World War additions.
MATERIALS: brick-built, clad in ashlar and quarry-faced granite.
DESCRIPTION: the memorial takes the form of a four-stage, square-plan, 10.66m (35 feet) high clock tower in the style of a tall and narrow cenotaph, with each stage being narrower than the proceeding one. The clock tower rises off a three-stepped stone base, with projecting edges; it has a coursed quarry-faced stone block plinth and pedestal. The plinth has a chamfered upper surface and the pedestal has tooled corners, and a moulded cornice. The ashlar second stage has articulated corners, a moulded cornice, and narrow loop windows in the side elevations. There is a roundel in each of the elevations; those to the front and rear house white glazed clock-faces, which can be illuminated at night, with black painted metal Roman numerals and hands. The roundels in the side elevations are blind. The two-stage campanile has articulated corners and a moulded cornice; the lower stage has a semi-circular opening in each elevation, while the upper stage consists of a sarcophagus resting upon the cornice, with a depressed pyramidal top. The side and main elevations of the plinth have square moulded ashlar frames, housing recessed ashlar tablets with lead lettering; the one in the main elevation reads: IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE/ MEN FROM THIS VILLAGE/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ LEST WE FORGET and the two side tablets record the names of the 14 fallen from the First World War. Two granite plaques with lead lettering are attached at the base of the second stage of the main elevation, and record the names of eight fallen from the Second World War. The interior of the tower and the clock mechanism is accessed by a timber door, which is set in a moulded ashlar surround in the rear elevation of the plinth.