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Heddon-on-the-Wall Memorial Cross with memorial park walls and gate piers

A Grade II Listed Building in Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9972 / 54°59'49"N

Longitude: -1.7925 / 1°47'33"W

OS Eastings: 413369

OS Northings: 566974

OS Grid: NZ133669

Mapcode National: GBR HBXN.QG

Mapcode Global: WHC3G.FNMG

Entry Name: Heddon-on-the-Wall Memorial Cross with memorial park walls and gate piers

Listing Date: 2 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1438077

Location: Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, NE15

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Heddon-on-the-Wall

Built-Up Area: Heddon-on-the-Wall

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Heddon-on-the-Wall St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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Heddon on the Wall


First World War memorial, 1922, with later additions for the Second World War, and memorial park wall with gate piers, 1925.


The memorial cross stands in the Heddon-on-the-Wall Memorial Park off the Hexham Road, within the scheduled area of Hadrian's Wall and vallum from East Town House, Heddon-on-the-Wall to the A69 trunk road in wall mile 12. It is within the Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Hadrian’s Wall) World Heritage Site. The memorial cross takes the form of a Celtic cross, c4m tall and made of granite. The front face of the cross is ornamented with a reversed sword carved in low relief. The cross shaft rises from a pedestal, square on plan and with rounded corners, which stands on a four-stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the pedestal reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ THOSE FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ (16 NAMES)/ “SO THEY PASSED OVER, AND ALL THE TRUMPETS/ SOUNDED FOR THEM ON THE OTHER SIDE. The Second World War inscription, on the riser of the top step, reads: ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE OF THIS PARISH WHO FELL/ IN THE SECOND GREAT WAR 1939 – 1945./ (NAMES).

Whilst the memorial garden’s railings have been lost (thought to have been taken in the Second World War scrap metal drive) the low, coped, stone wall which carried the railings still encloses the garden, including gate piers to the west side. A short length of the wall on the north side remains only as foundations. A bronze plaque on the left-hand gate pier records the creation of the park. The West Yorkshire Regiment’s battle honour for India and the Northumberland Fusiliers’ badge are cast in roundels in low relief to the top of the plaque. The dedicatory inscription reads: THIS PARK/ WAS LAID OUT/ EQUIPPED AND PRESENTED TO/ THE HEDDON-ON-THE-WALL/ PARISH COUNCIL BY/ SIR JAMES AND LADY KNOTT/ OF CLOSE HOUSE WYLAM/ IN MEMORY OF THEIR TWO SONS/ MAJOR/ JAMES LEADBITTER KNOTT/ D.S.O./ 10TH WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT/ AND CAPTAIN/ HENRY BASIL KNOTT/ 9TH NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS/ WHO WERE KILLED IN ACTION/ IN THE GREAT WAR.

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, 27 July 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 the country. 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 Heddon-on-the-Wall as a permanent testament to the sacrifices made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

By common consent the village pond was drained and the land, donated by Sir James Knott, turned over for the memorial. The memorial cross was unveiled on 11 November 1922 by Sir Loftus Bruce, commemorating 16 local servicemen who died in the First World War. The memorial cost £170, raised by public subscription: the foundations were donated by the Throckley Coal Company.

A garden with various facilities was laid out around the memorial at the expense of Sir James Knott, and opened on 11 November 1925. Sir James and his wife gave the garden to the community in memory of their sons James (d1916) and Henry (d1915), who are buried beside one another in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. Following the Second World War the names of six men who died in that conflict were added to the cross. Both the memorial cross and the garden were enclosed with railings, which have since been lost.

Reasons for Listing

Heddon-on-the-Wall Memorial Cross with memorial park walls and gate piers, Heddon-on-the Wall Memorial Park, are 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet poignant memorial cross in the Celtic style;
* Historic association: the cross stands within the contemporary memorial park, including the park walls and gate piers;
* Group value: with a scheduled section of Hadrian’s Wall and vallum and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Hadrian’s Wall) World Heritage Site.

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