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War memorial outside St George's Church, South Moor

A Grade II Listed Building in Stanley, County Durham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.8571 / 54°51'25"N

Longitude: -1.7047 / 1°42'16"W

OS Eastings: 419057

OS Northings: 551406

OS Grid: NZ190514

Mapcode National: GBR JDJ8.RN

Mapcode Global: WHC48.S5FT

Entry Name: War memorial outside St George's Church, South Moor

Listing Date: 7 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440397

Location: Stanley, County Durham, DH9

County: County Durham

Parish: Stanley

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Stanley and South Moor

Church of England Diocese: Durham

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1919.

Description

The memorial stands outside the E wall of the Church of St George (Grade II-listed). It takes the form of a large, elaborately-hooded Calvary. The timber cross shaft bears the figure of Christ crucified, cast in copper. The shaft rises from a stone pedestal that stands on a three-stepped base.

Inset into the church wall a large stone panel bears three dark stone plaques. The principal dedicatory inscription is recorded on the central plaque, reading TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN WHOSE NAMES/ ARE HERE RECORDED WHO/ CHEERFULLY GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR FREEDOM AND/ THE ENGLAND THEY LOVED/ SO WELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919/ THEIR RELATIVES/ HAVE ERECTED THIS TABLET/ AND ADJOINING CROSS./ “ABOVE THE GRAVES OF HEROES/ THE WOODEN CROSSES GROW,/ WHO SHALL NO MORE SEE DURHAM,/ NOR ANY PLACE THEY KNOW,/ WHERE FELL TOPS FACE THE MORNING/ AND GREAT WINDS BLOW;/ WHO LOVING AS NONE OTHER/ THE LAND THAT IS THEIR MOTHER,/ UNFALTERING RENOUNCED HER/ BECAUSE THEY LOVED HER SO.”/ W.N. HODGSON. The names are listed on the two plaques to either side.

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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised outside St George’s Church on South Moor Road, South Moor, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

South Moor was the pit village for the Holmside collieries including South Moor Colliery, opened in 1818 and closed in 1973. The memorial was unveiled on 29 November 1919 by Mr RW Cooper, the managing director of South Moor Colliery Co, and dedicated by the Bishop of Durham. It commemorates 85 men who died in the First World War. Residents agreed that the memorial should be erected at the Anglican church despite many of the commemorated men being Nonconformists or not church-goers. Designed by Mowbray of London, it cost c£200, raised by the soldiers’ families. The Calvary was damaged in 2005 and a new figure of Christ has replaced the original.

Messrs AR Mowbray and Co Ltd was a noted firm of church furnishers of Margaret Street, London. The company was responsible for a large number of war memorials, including the Grade II-listed Calvary in St Stephen’s Churchyard, Borrowash.

Reasons for Listing

South Moor War Memorial, which stands outside St George’s Church, 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 First World War;
* Architectural interest: a tall and imposing Calvary by noted church furnishers Mowbray and Co Ltd;
* Group value: with the Church of St George (Grade II-listed).

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