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Plenmeller War Memorial Cairn

A Grade II Listed Building in Plenmeller with Whitfield, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9438 / 54°56'37"N

Longitude: -2.394 / 2°23'38"W

OS Eastings: 374858

OS Northings: 561090

OS Grid: NY748610

Mapcode National: GBR CCQ8.HK

Mapcode Global: WH913.6Z8W

Entry Name: Plenmeller War Memorial Cairn

Listing Date: 7 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439867

Location: Plenmeller with Whitfield, Northumberland, NE49

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Plenmeller with Whitfield

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Haltwhistle Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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Bardon Mill


First World War memorial.


The memorial stands at the 300m contour, c1,850m south-west of Penpeugh and c2,400m due east of Plenmeller Road. It takes the form of a carefully constructed dry-stone cairn, c2m tall, raised on a stone outcrop overlooking former open-cast coal workings to the south.

The inscription on a metal plaque fixed to a concrete base in front of the memorial reads WAR MEMORIAL CAIRN/ ERECTED BY/ TYNEDALE SHEPHERDS/ IN MEMORY OF ALL WHO DIED IN/ THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 23 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. 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 on Plenmeller Common by local shepherds as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of their local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial, also known as The Currick, was built before 1939. Shepherds known to have worked the area at that time include Mr Johnson, Mr Collins, Mr Short, and Mr Wighams. It was cared for during the Second World War by Mr Short. When opencast coal mining commenced in 1991, the promontory on which the memorial stands was worked around. A plaque raised by UK Coal was dedicated on 30 July 2007.

Reasons for Listing

Plenmeller War Memorial Cairn, which stands on Plenmeller Common, 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;
* Design: a drystone cairn built in local materials using traditional construction techniques.

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