St Chad's War Memorial, Uppermill

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1467726
Date first listed:
09-Dec-2019
Statutory Address:
St Chad's Gardens, High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL3 6AP

Map

Ordnance survey map of St Chad's War Memorial, Uppermill
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Location

Statutory Address:
St Chad's Gardens, High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL3 6AP

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

District:
Oldham (Metropolitan Authority)
Parish:
Saddleworth
National Grid Reference:
SD9965905689

Summary

First World War memorial, 1921, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

St Chad's 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:

* a well-executed figurative war memorial with a carved statue of an angel, that employs good quality materials and craftsmanship.

Group value:

* with the Grade II-listed St Chad's House, in whose grounds it is located.

History

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 Uppermill, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 252 men from the area of Saddleworth, who lost their lives in the First World War.

The process of selection of a war memorial for Saddleworth proved to be somewhat controversial, with two main schemes proposed. Members of the Saddleworth Urban District Council favoured a memorial within the village of Uppermill, while a scheme to build a prominent obelisk that could be seen for miles, on the scarp of Saddleworth Moor, at Pots and Pans, found favour with others. As funding for the memorial at Pots and Pans was being raised by public subscription, Harvey Carter, the owner of Victoria Mill, stepped in to finance the memorial at Uppermill. It is believed to have been erected by local builder, Thomas Corner in the gardens of St Chad's House (Grade II), at that time serving as the Council offices. The memorial is understood to incorporate a column that once stood in St Chad’s Garden; the column is thought to have been salvaged from the C18 Ripponden Church when it was demolished and replaced in 1868 by a Gothic design by George Shaw, owner of St Chad’s House.

The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 21 October 1921, by Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert, the owner of Waterside Mill, Greenfield, and it was dedicated to the lives of the 252 Fallen of Saddleworth, who were listed in the unveiling programme. After the unveiling of the war memorial at Pots and Pans in 1923, that memorial become the main focus of Saddleworth's commemorations; nevertheless, a smaller ceremony has been held at St Chad's Gardens ever since. After the Second World War another dedication was added to the memorial for that conflict. Originally, the memorial was surrounded by raised flower borders and approached by a short paved path; during the late C20 this was replaced by a paved area, including a flagpole, which in 2013, was replaced by a new surround, with low flanking platforms.

Details

First World War memorial, 1921, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: ashlar sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial takes the form of a classical-style stone shaft surmounted by a winged angel. The round-section shaft has a moulded astragal and chamfered base, with a similar moulded cornice, supporting a carved figure of an angel, mounted on an octagonal base; the angel's right arm is raised, and her left arm is holding a flower against her body. The shaft rises from a square-plan pedestal, on a two-stepped base. The pedestal has a moulded cornice and plinth, with recessed and framed panels within the dado. The south panel bears the First World War dedication, which reads: TO THE GLORIOUS/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF SADDLEWORTH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE CAUSE OF/ LIBERTY AND JUSTICE/ IN THE GREAT WAR./ 1914 - 1919, and the north panel bears the Second World War dedication, which is inscribed in an identical text and style, apart from the last two lines that read: IN THE WORLD WAR./ 1939 - 1945. The inscription on the east panel reads: LOVED ONES/ LIVE/ HENCE FORTH/ IS DEATH BUT THE/ GATE OF LIFE, and the west panel reads: WATCHFUL/ O'ER OUR/ LIVES/ OUR GUARDIAN/ ANGELS STAND. A further inscription on the east elevation of the plinth reads: THIS MONUMENT WAS PRESENTED TO THE/ SADDLEWORTH URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL/ BY HARVEY CARTER ESQ. OF UPPERMILL/ OCTOBER 21st, 1921.

Sources

Books and journals
Howcroft, G (Author), George Shaw of St Chad's Saddleworth, (1972), p11
Websites
Saddleworth Independent 6 September - Memorial to Saddleworth's fallen war heroes to be specially listed?, accessed 4 November 2019 from https://saddind.co.uk/memorial-to-saddleworths-fallen-war-heroes-to-be-specially-listed/
War memorials Online - Saddleworth, accessed 1 November 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/232985
Other
Pamphlet, Saddleworth War Memorial Unveiling Ceremony, Saturday October 1st, 1921, St Chad’s, Uppermill, Saddleworth Historical Society, Archives, H/W/16

Legal

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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