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Birch-in-Hopwood War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in West Middleton, Rochdale

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Latitude: 53.5667 / 53°34'0"N

Longitude: -2.2243 / 2°13'27"W

OS Eastings: 385243

OS Northings: 407813

OS Grid: SD852078

Mapcode National: GBR DWX6.75

Mapcode Global: WHB92.TM01

Plus Code: 9C5VHQ8G+M7

Entry Name: Birch-in-Hopwood War Memorial

Listing Date: 20 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441324

Location: Rochdale, OL10

County: Rochdale

Electoral Ward/Division: West Middleton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Langley

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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First World War memorial cross, erected early 1920s, with later additions for the Second World War, re-erected c1970


First World War memorial cross, erected early 1920s, with later additions for the Second World War, re-erected c1970

Birch-in-Hopwood War Memorial comprises a stone-built Celtic cross raised on a pedestal, stepped-plinth and a podium. The cross has no lower wheel quadrants and is carved with the Christian monogram IHS. The shaft rises from a canted pedestal; the front (W) face of the pedestal has a dedication that reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN MEMORY OF THE MEN / OF THIS PARISH WHO GAVE / THEIR LIVES IN THE WAR. / 1914 – 1918. and records 19 of the 29 names of the Fallen; the remainder are carved into the front face of the top step of the plinth. The rear (E) face of the pedestal is dedicated 1939 -1945 and records the names of seven individuals killed during the Second World War. Both steps of the plinth have chamfered upper surfaces.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 23 November 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.

The war memorial was created to commemorate the men of the Parish of St Mary, Birch-in-Hopwood, who fell during the First World War. It was built during the early 1920s and was situated in the graveyard, immediately adjacent to the entrance porch at the SW corner of the church. Following the Second World War, the names of the Fallen from that conflict were added to the memorial. The C19 church was demolished c1962 and replaced by a new building, and the war memorial was taken down and re-erected on the terracotta tiled floor of the former chancel apse.

Reasons for Listing

Birch-in-Hopwood War Memorial, erected early 1920s is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on the Parish of St Mary, Birch-in-Hopwood, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: it is an unusual Celtic cross design, which lacks the lower wheel quadrants.

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