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Rowlands Gill War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Chopwell and Rowlands Gill, Gateshead

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Latitude: 54.9194 / 54°55'9"N

Longitude: -1.745 / 1°44'42"W

OS Eastings: 416441

OS Northings: 558326

OS Grid: NZ164583

Mapcode National: GBR JC8K.0B

Mapcode Global: WHC3W.5M93

Entry Name: Rowlands Gill War Memorial

Listing Date: 2 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439955

Location: Gateshead, NE39

County: Gateshead

Metropolitan District Ward: Chopwell and Rowlands Gill

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Rowlands Gill

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: High Spen and Rowlands Gill

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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Rowlands Gill


First World War memorial, unveiled 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.


The tall granite memorial stands beside the junction of Station Road and Smailes Lane. It takes the form of a tapering pylon, rectangular on plan, composed of three sections that stand on a moulded foot. That stands on a stone step, and a lower step of rendered bricks. The monument is raised on a hexagonal platform approached from the pavement by two steps. A low, staggered, and coped wall encloses the platform to the rear.

The upper section of the pylon is ornamented with a wreath, suspended from a ribbon, carved in low relief. The central section bears the principal dedicatory inscription, reading ERECTED BY/ THE INHABITANTS OF ROWLANDS GILL/ TO THE MEMORY OF THE FALLEN HEROES/ WHO PAID THE SUPREME SACRIFICE/ IN THE GREAT WAR AUG. 1914 NOV. 1918./ (NAMES)/ "MAY THEIR DEEDS BE HELD IN REVERENCE"./ (NAMES).

The inscription on a rectangular bronze plaque fixed to the section below reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS VILLAGE WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945./ (NAMES). A small shield is carved in low relief below the plaque.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the benches standing in the war memorial enclosure are not of special architectural or historic interest.

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.


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

The memorial was unveiled on 18 June 1921 by Councillor Brown, commemorating 40 local servicemen who died in the First World War. It was designed by William Donaldson of Newcastle upon Tyne. Two further names were added at a later date. Following the Second World War the names of 21 men who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Rowlands Gill War Memorial, which stands at the junction of Station Road and Smailes Lane, 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 austere yet poignant war memorial.

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