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Mirfield war memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Mirfield, Kirklees

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6754 / 53°40'31"N

Longitude: -1.6953 / 1°41'42"W

OS Eastings: 420228

OS Northings: 419929

OS Grid: SE202199

Mapcode National: GBR JTLY.S6

Mapcode Global: WHC9W.XWX6

Entry Name: Mirfield war memorial

Listing Date: 12 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439587

Location: Mirfield, Kirklees, WF14

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Mirfield

Built-Up Area: West Yorkshire

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Mirfield Team Parish

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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Summary

First World War memorial, 1921, by Hicks and Charlewood, with the names of those killed during the Second World War added later. Carved limestone cross with a red-brick and sandstone commemorative curved screen wall to the rear.

Description

First World War memorial, 1921, by Hicks and Charlewood, with the names of those killed during the Second World War added later. Carved limestone cross with a red-brick and sandstone commemorative curved screen wall to the rear

Mirfield war memorial is located in the NE corner of Ings Grove Park and is in the style of an Anglo-Saxon high cross. The cross has a tapered shaft and incorporates richly carved decoration to the front and sides; that to the front depicts a stylised tree of life with animals and birds, and knot work to the head of the cross (the knot work is also incorporated to the rear face of the cross head, but the shaft is undecorated), whilst the decoration to the sides depicts knot work. The cross has a rectangular base with shaped sides. The base's front (SW) face bears the inscription: 'IN GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF/ THE MEN OF MIRFIELD/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE/ SERVICE OF THEIR KING & COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1919/ AND THE WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945'. The rear (NE) face bears the inscription: 'RE-DEDICATED IN GRATEFUL MEMORY/ OF ALL THOSE/ WHO HAVE FALLEN OR SUFFERED/ IN THE/ SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY/ SINCE 1945/ 26 JUNE 2010'.

Set apart from the cross to the NE is a tall curved screen wall constructed of mellow red brick with sandstone dressings. The wall is topped by sandstone copings and incorporates four rusticated piers with sandstone bases and shaped caps that have lost their finials. A series of eight blind windows with brick lintels and sandstone sills line the wall's front (SW) face, with each containing a bronze plaque recording the names of those killed during the two world wars; the three outer plaques on each side record the names of those killed in the First World War, and the two central plaques record the names of those killed in the Second World War. Originally the wall just comprised two detached curved wing walls flanked by the piers and incorporating six blind windows and plaques, but following the end of the Second World War the open central section was infilled with brickwork in the same style to connect the two sections of walling and enable the addition of two further blind windows and bronze plaques recording the names of those killed during the Second World War. The rear of the wall is plain apart from the rusticated piers.

The garden area surrounding the war memorial has been altered. Historic photographs show that the memorial was originally surrounded by a mixture of paving, planted areas, raised beds and hedging, set upon stepped terraces, but the area is now one of hard landscaping with additional paving laid down, some ground levels raised, and areas of tarmac added for easier access.

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, 22 February 2017.

History

Mirfield war memorial was designed by Hicks & Charlewood of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and erected in 1921 in the NE corner of Ings Grove Park, a public park that had originally been the grounds of Ings Grove House (now demolished). The memorial was constructed by Messrs T S Ullathorne & Sons and Mr E F Kirby, and was unveiled on 10 December 1921. The original landscaping around the memorial was carried out by Messrs Broadhead & Sons of Thongsbridge and supervised by Mr J W Burrows of Birstall. Originally a First World War Mk IV female tank (machine-gun equipped rather than the naval six pounder guns of a male tank) was positioned alongside the cross and formed part of the memorial, but this was later removed. After the First World War 264 towns across the country were presented with a retired tank, with the towns chosen by the National War Savings Committee according to the contributions they had made.

An additional inscription line was added to the war memorial cross following the end of the Second World War, and an open section separating two wing walls behind the cross, which were adorned with bronze plaques recording the names of those killed during the First World War, was infilled and two further plaques added to record the names of those killed during the Second World War.

The war memorial was re-dedicated on 26 June 2010 to honour local people killed or injured in conflicts since 1945. The unveiling of an additional inscription commemorating the re-dedication was carried out by Major General Alastair Duncan CBE DSO.

The annual Mirfield Remembrance Sunday parade, which marches through the town to the war memorial, is said to be the largest Remembrance Sunday parade outside Westminster and attracts thousands of people every year.

Hicks & Charlewood was an architectural practice founded c1885 by William Searle Hicks (1849-1902), a great nephew of Sir Charles Barry and an established architect, who took his brother-in-law Henry Clement Charlewood (1853-1943) into partnership. Following Hicks' early death Charlewood took Hicks' son, Henry Leicester Hicks into partnership in 1908. Upon Charlewood's retirement in 1916 he was succeeded in the partnership by his own son, George Edward Charlewood. Hicks & Charlewood as an architectural firm has 14 listed buildings to its name or that it made later alterations/additions to (both under the leadership of the original partners and the later partners). Most of the buildings are churches and all are located in the north-east of England. The firm is also associated with 18 war memorials of varying type across the country, four of which are listed at Grade II.

Reasons for Listing

Mirfield war memorial, designed by Hicks & Charlewood and erected in 1921, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: it has strong cultural and historic significance within both a local and national context, and is an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;

* Design interest: it has a distinguished design incorporating a richly carved Anglo-Saxon style cross with a classical screen wall set behind, the two elements coming together to form a powerful and dignified ensemble;

* Architects: it was designed by a notable firm of regional architects who have many listed buildings and structures to their name, including Grade II war memorials at Alnmouth, Haltwhistle and District, Wark, and Castle Eden, Northumberland.

Other nearby listed buildings

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