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Henbury War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Henbury & Brentry, City of Bristol

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5066 / 51°30'23"N

Longitude: -2.631 / 2°37'51"W

OS Eastings: 356304

OS Northings: 178814

OS Grid: ST563788

Mapcode National: GBR JP.J6X3

Mapcode Global: VH88F.BDZF

Entry Name: Henbury War Memorial

Location: Bristol, BS10

County: City of Bristol

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Locality: Henbury & Brentry

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bristol

Listing Date: 4 April 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445113

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled 1921.

Description

The memorial stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*), situated close to the gate to Church Close. Built in Doulting limestone from Chelynch quarry, near Yeovil, it takes the form of a tall wheel-head cross rising from an octagonal plinth. The plinth stands on a four-stepped octagonal base, raised on a circular step at the bottom. Each face of the plinth bears an inset panel into which the commemorated names are carved, whilst a square collar on the cross shaft bears the dates 1914 1918. An inscription runs around the plinth, incised above the name panels.

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 at Henbury as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

A large yew tree had to be removed in order for the memorial to be built in the churchyard, to the N side of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*) and overlooking Church Close on which stands a number of listed buildings. The memorial cross was designed by the architect P Hartland Thomas and built by F Freeman and Company. It cost £400, raised by voluntary subscription. The memorial was unveiled on 25 March 1921 by Major CE Turner DSO, commander of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. The Vicar, Reverend CP Way, said that “each day children appointed by the choir and the school would assume the position of guardians of the cross”.

Percival Hartland Thomas FRIBA (1879-1960) was educated at Bristol Grammar School, and articled to James Craik from 1898 to 1901. He was in independent practice from 1903, and was surveyor to the Diocese of Bath and Wells from 1911 to 1924.

Reasons for Listing

Henbury War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of St Mary’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 this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet imposing wheel-head cross carved in a local stone;
* Degree of survival: the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent;
* Group value: with the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade II*) and other listed heritage assets in the churchyard and on Church Close.

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