Blackhill War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, St Mary's Street, County Durham, DH8 8PG


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Statutory Address:
Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, St Mary's Street, County Durham, DH8 8PG

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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1919, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Blackhill War Memorial, 1919, 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 poignant memorial in the form of a Crucifix upon a tapering shaft, well-executed and well-detailed in local sandstone.

Group value:

* it benefits from a spatial group value with the Grade II-listed Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, in whose grounds it is situated.


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 Blackhill in the churchyard of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 92 members of the congregation who lost their lives; in total some 800 served. The war memorial was designed by Mr F Foyle of Consett and built by Mr R Hedley, of Newcastle, with masonry work by R Beall of Newcastle; the total cost was £250. The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 18 September 1919 by Canon Augustine Magill of Brooms. After the Second World War the names of 50 fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial. It was rededicated on 14 October 1999.


First World War memorial, 1919, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: Heworth sandstone and marble slabs.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial is prominently situated facing the Grade II-listed Church of St Mary, where it is also highly visible from the main street. It takes the form of a Crucifix carved in relief upon a tall, faceted, tapering obelisk with a chamfered base: the base of the shaft has a Roman Cross set within a circle on all four sides. The obelisk rests upon a wide, rectangular, pedimented pedestal upon which the word 'Sacrifice' is incised in a curve on the pediment. The whole sits upon a two-stepped base.

The dedication is contained upon a slab within a pedimented marble slab affixed to the front face of the pedestal which reads: ERECTED TO THE MEMORY / OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH / WHO DIED IN THE WAR 1914-1918. The names of the 92 fallen are listed below in five columns using gilded Roman capitals by rank and name.

The front face of the upper step of the base bears the inscription: RIP / THE ETERNAL REST GIVE TO THEM, OF LORD / AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

A marble panel on the left side of the pedestal reads: WORLD WAR II 1939-1945 followed below by the names of the fallen grouped in three columns by service and surname.


North East War Memorials Project, accessed 8 November 2019 from
War Memorials Register, Imperial War Museum Inventory, accessed 8 November 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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