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Ryton War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Ryton, Gateshead

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Latitude: 54.9775 / 54°58'38"N

Longitude: -1.7639 / 1°45'49"W

OS Eastings: 415211

OS Northings: 564789

OS Grid: NZ152647

Mapcode National: GBR JB3W.XH

Mapcode Global: WHC3N.W570

Entry Name: Ryton War Memorial

Listing Date: 7 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439972

Location: Gateshead, NE40

County: Gateshead

Electoral Ward/Division: Ryton, Crookhill and Stella

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Ryton

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Ryton

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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


The memorial stands on a high mound on Station Bank, approached by a long flight of steps from the road below. It is within the area of the registered battlefield of the Battle of Newburn Ford and is in close proximity to a number of designated heritage assets. It takes the form of a tall Portland stone cross in the early medieval style, but un-ornamented, that rises from a stepped and moulded pedestal. The pedestal stands on a stepped base. A small stone flower vase stands before the cross on the top step, inscribed IN MEMORIAM. To the rear of the cross a brick wall with a stone plinth and stone coping and short returns to each side carries five bronze plaques.

The front face of the pedestal is inscribed 1914 1918/ 1939 1945. Two bronze panels to either side of the pedestal record the Second World War dedications, with names listed in columns under the dates 1939 – 1945. The principal dedicatory inscription is recorded on one of the bronze panels fixed to the rear wall, reading TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF RYTON URBAN/ DISTRICT WHO DIED IN THE CAUSE/ OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OF FREEDOM/ IN THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR/ AND IN GRATITUDE TO ALMIGHTY/ GOD FOR THE GIFT OF SUCH/ SPLENDID SONS/ HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE WHO SINK TO REST/ BY ALL THEIR COUNTRY'S WISHES BLESS'D!/ OFFICERS/ (NAMES). The remaining First World War names are listed on the other four wall plaques.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas ) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the metal hand-rail and posts running up the centre of the flight of steps 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, 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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Ryton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Following public meetings as early as 1919 to decide on a suitable war memorial, the gathering of names for commemoration, and fundraising, Ryton War Memorial was unveiled on 5 November 1921 by Major-General Sir Percy Wilkinson KCMG CB, prayers of dedication were offered by the Rector, Reverend CBR Hunter, and the Archdeacon of Durham gave an address. It commemorates 273 local servicemen who died during the First World War. The memorial cost £1,600, raised by public subscription; the site had been donated by the Rector of Ryton. The memorial was designed by Hicks and Charlwood, architects, and was made by SF Davidson of Newcastle. Following the Second World War the names of 94 men and one woman who died in that conflict were added.

Reasons for Listing

Ryton War Memorial, which stands on Station Bank, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a tall and imposing Portland stone cross;
* Group value: with the registered battlefield of the Battle of Newburn Ford 1640 and a number of designated heritage assets in close proximity including the Church of Holy Cross (Grade I).

Other nearby listed buildings

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