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Greenhead Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Greenhead, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9819 / 54°58'54"N

Longitude: -2.5326 / 2°31'57"W

OS Eastings: 366010

OS Northings: 565381

OS Grid: NY660653

Mapcode National: GBR BBRT.HY

Mapcode Global: WH911.218N

Entry Name: Greenhead Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 5 August 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437147

Location: Greenhead, Northumberland, CA8

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Greenhead

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Greenhead

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.


MATERIALS: Portland stone cross, sandstone base.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands at the roadside to the north of the Church of St Cuthbert (Grade II-listed) and adjacent to the Grade II-listed Memorial Drinking Fountain (1865, in memory of John Blenkinsop Coulson). It is within the Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Hadrian's Wall) World Heritage Site Buffer Zone.

Approximately 5m tall, the memorial takes the form of a slender early-medieval cross with a hemispherical boss at the centre of the cross arms and ornament outlining the cross shaft. The moulded foot of the cross shaft rises from a low, tapering, pedestal, that stands on a two-stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the base reads TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF THE/ MEN FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR/ KING AND COUNTRY. The commemorated First World War names are recorded to the sides of the pedestal. A small stone plaque reclining on the steps to the front reads 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The memorial is enclosed with a hedge to the rear and, to the front, curving low stone walls that end in dwarf piers at the entrance to the enclosure.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 9 February 2017.


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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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.

Greenhead Memorial Cross was unveiled at an ecumenical service on 13 November 1920 by Colonel EPA Riddell CMG DSO. It commemorates 20 local servicemen who died during the First World War. The memorial was funded by public subscription. Following the Second World War the names of nine men who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Greenhead Memorial Cross, which stands on the B6318 to the north of the Church of St Cuthbert, 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 conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an elegant memorial cross in Portland stone;
* Group value: with the Church of St Cuthbert and the Memorial Drinking Fountain (both Grade II-listed).

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