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Shillingstone War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Shillingstone, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9018 / 50°54'6"N

Longitude: -2.2522 / 2°15'7"W

OS Eastings: 382364

OS Northings: 111398

OS Grid: ST823113

Mapcode National: GBR 1YS.7G7

Mapcode Global: FRA 665Q.GF9

Entry Name: Shillingstone War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440392

Location: Shillingstone, North Dorset, Dorset, DT11

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset

Civil Parish: Shillingstone

Built-Up Area: Shillingstone

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Shillingstone Holy Rood

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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First World War memorial by Farmer and Brindley & Co Ltd, unveiled 1919, with later additions for the Second World War.


Shillingstone War Memorial is located on the corner of Poplar Hill and Knapps. It consists of a Portland stone Celtic cross, with an ornately embellished tapering shaft. The carved ornamentation includes interlace patterns, decorated bosses, and vine. A lengthy inscription carved in low relief in a panel to the front face of the foot of the shaft reads THIS CROSS/ WAS ERECTED/ BY PUBLIC/ SUBSCRIPTION IN/ MEMORIAM OF THE/ HONOURABLE PLACE/ TAKEN BY THIS/ PARISH IN THE/ GREAT WAR 1914-/ 1919 AND SPECIALLY/ OF THESE FROM ITS/ “ROLL OF HONOUR”/ WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR THEIR/ COUNTRY. The corners of the panel include monograms carved in low relief. The shaft rises from a tapered plinth that stands on a two stepped base.

A carved stone wreath to the front of the plinth encircles an incised dedicatory inscription to the men of the Parish who were lost during First World War. The inscription reads MESSAGE/ FROM H.M. KING GEORGE V/ “HIS MAJESTY WAS/ GRATIFIED TO LEARN HOW/ SPLENDIDLY THE PEOPLE/ OF SHILLINGSTONE HAVE/ RESPONDED TO THE CALL OF/ THE COLOURS: I IMAGINE/ THIS MUST BE A RECORD”. / SEPT 2 1914. Below the wreath is inscribed ROLL OF HONOUR 1914 - 1918/ (NAMES).

The names of the 25 men from Shillingstone who died during the First World War are inscribed around the sides of the plinth, ordered by year of death, and including two most recently added names incised under a carving of an anchor with, below, PRO DEO ET PRO PATRIA. At the base of the cross a stone tablet is inscribed 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

The memorial stands on a raised site at the roadside. There is a retaining brick wall with capped brick piers to the front, with a rake of steps from the pavement. The front wall carries posts bearing a chain (replacing the original railings) whilst to the rear the enclosure is completed with railings.


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 Shillingstone 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, designed by Farmer and Brindley & Co Ltd of London, was unveiled on 24 September 1919 by the Countess of Shaftesbury. Although the cross was originally going to be placed in the churchyard, it was decided that a local allotment would be a more appropriate location. On the same day a German field gun, presented by the War Office in recognition of Shillingstone’s contribution to the First World War, was unveiled: before 31 January 1915, 99 local men had volunteered to join the war effort out of a total population of 565.

The memorial commemorates the 25 local servicemen who fell in the First World War. Later the names of eight men who lost their lives in the Second World War were added. The field gun that stood alongside the memorial was removed during the Second World War scrap drive. In 2012 the memorial was conserved with the help of grant aid from War Memorials Trust.

Farmer and Brindley & Co Ltd was a firm of decorative craftsmen and church furnishers providing architectural sculpture under contract, founded by William Farmer and William Brindley. The company was based at Westminster Bridge Road, London, active from 1851 to 1929. They provided decorative sculpture for many of the most important architects; their major contracts included work on Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Albert Memorial, London, and Alfred Waterhouse’s Natural History Museum, London, and Town Hall, Manchester.

Reasons for Listing

Shillingstone War Memorial, which stands at the corner of Poplar Hill and Knapps, 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 richly ornamented Portland stone memorial cross in the Celtic style.

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