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Seascale War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Seascale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3965 / 54°23'47"N

Longitude: -3.4833 / 3°28'59"W

OS Eastings: 303795

OS Northings: 501123

OS Grid: NY037011

Mapcode National: GBR 4K3L.PR

Mapcode Global: WH5ZW.GRJG

Entry Name: Seascale War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441482

Location: Seascale, Copeland, Cumbria, CA20

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

Civil Parish: Seascale

Built-Up Area: Seascale

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Seascale St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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First World War memorial, designed by W G Collingwood and unveiled on 28 May 1921.


MATERIALS: sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located in the churchyard of the Church of St Cuthbert and comprises a Celtic-style cross surmounting a rectangular tapered shaft. The front and sides are richly decorated with carved Scandinavian interlace designs and on the back is a carved vine scroll.

The inscription on the front face is carved in relief and reads IN GRATEFUL/ REMEMBRANCE/ OF THE MEN OF/ SEASCALE/ WHO DIED FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT/ WAR 1914 – 1918/ (NAMES)/ THEIR NAME LIVETH/ FOR EVERMORE.

The shaft is set upon a three-stepped rectangular base.

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, 17 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, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 Seascale as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

William Gershom Collingwood (1854–1932) designed several memorials including the cross to John Ruskin at Coniston and First World War memorials at Grasmere, Coniston, Seascale and Hawkshead amongst others. Collingwood was a pupil of Ruskin’s and had been helping him at Brantwood editing a number of Ruskin's texts. Collingwood’s biography of Ruskin, published in 1893 and rewritten in 1900, became a standard work. In the 1890s Collingwood found his vocation as a painter and also became interested in Lake District history. He joined the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society in 1887 studying Norse and Anglican archaeology in the north, particularly the artistic aspect of it, on which he became widely recognised as the leading authority. His most important work, Northumbrian Crosses of the pre-Norman Age was published in 1927. These interests influenced his 1901 design of Ruskin’s memorial, which was in the form of an Anglo-Celtic cross with interlace scrollwork and symbolic panels (Grade II), and his First World War memorial designs. Collingwood’s interlace designs for each memorial are all individual and not repeated. Informed by his scholarly and artistic expertise they are among the most distinguished works that he produced in his career.

Seascale War Memorial was designed by Collingwood and it was influenced by C8 - C9 crosses in Cumbria such as that at St Paul's Church, Irton (scheduled monument) and at St Cuthbert's Church, Bewcastle (scheduled monument). These crosses bear intricate carved decoration including plant scrolls, plaiting and interlace patterns, birds and animals and figural representation.

The makers of the Seascale memorial were Prestons of Whitehaven and it was unveiled by Lt-Col D J Mason DSO of Workington on 28 May 1921. It commemorates 11 fallen local men.

Reasons for Listing

Seascale War Memorial 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 made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: an ornate and striking memorial cross with an impressive composition of finely carved stonework Scandinavian interlace designs;
* Designer: an excellent example of the work of William Gershom Collingwood informed by his scholarly and artistic expertise studying Norse and Anglican archaeology and early Northumbrian Crosses;
* Group value: with the Church of St Cuthbert (Grade II).

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