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Buckland St Mary War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Buckland St. Mary, Somerset

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Latitude: 50.9157 / 50°54'56"N

Longitude: -3.0387 / 3°2'19"W

OS Eastings: 327080

OS Northings: 113426

OS Grid: ST270134

Mapcode National: GBR M4.QL06

Mapcode Global: FRA 46JP.80Q

Entry Name: Buckland St Mary War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441823

Location: Buckland St. Mary, South Somerset, Somerset, TA20

County: Somerset

District: South Somerset

Civil Parish: Buckland St Mary

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Church of England Parish: Buckland St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Bath and Wells

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War memorial in the form of a churchyard cross or Calvary, and incorporating part of the Norman village cross, circa 1920-21. The memorial stands in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, a short distance to the north of the church.


MATERIALS: Doulting Stone, with the shaft and socket stone of the former village cross being of Ham stone.

DESCRIPTION: the octagonal shaft of the original cross rises from a squared base with round-headed corner mouldings. The shaft is continued in the circa 1920 work, with a band of nailhead decoration, to support the tabernacle head, which takes the form of a gabled cross, with Christ to the west flanked by kneeling angels. The memorial stands on a two-stepped octagonal base of circa 1920; on the western face is carved the following inscription: ‘IN MEMORY / OF THE BRAVE MEN / OF BUCKLAND ST MARY / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914-1919’. A stone tablet recording the names of the thirteen men who fell during that war is placed to the north-west, and another to the south-west bears two names, commemorating those lost during the Second World War. These tablets were affixed in 2011.

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, 21 February 2017.


The war memorial was erected in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin in 1920 or shortly afterwards, to commemorate the men of Buckland St Mary who fell during the First World War. The total cost of the war memorial project was £375, which was raised by voluntary subscription. The churchyard war memorial, in the form of a cross, incorporated the existing shaft and socket stone of the Norman village cross; the church faculty for the work describes it as a restoration of the original cross, rather than a new construction. The shaft of the ancient cross is said to have been found in the grounds of the former Rectory in the second half of the C19, marking the grave of a horse.

The architects employed for designing the war memorial were Frederick Bligh Bond of Bristol and Thomas Falconer and Harold Baker of Amberley. Bond (1864-1945) was responsible for a number of private and public commissions – his public buildings include the Shirehampton Public Hall and Library, listed at Grade II – and was a noted expert on church architecture, working on many restoration projects in Somerset, as well as designing church fittings. As an archaeologist he was director of the excavations at Glastonbury from 1909 to 1922. Thomas Falconer (1879-1934) was principally known as an architect of Arts and Crafts houses in Gloucestershire, and worked with Harold Baker from 1917-1928; Bond, Falconer and Baker worked together from 1919-1924. Bond designed a number of war memorials in the West Country, both with and without Falconer and Baker, including listed war memorials at Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, and Glastonbury and Ilminster in Somerset; the war memorial at Wrington – similar in form to that at Buckland St Mary – has also been attributed to Bond.

Besides the churchyard war memorial, an oak memorial tablet was placed in the church at the west end, bearing the names of the 13 fallen, to which the names of those killed in the Second World War were later added. Another oak tablet was placed in the vestry (in 2016 in the church, though no longer in the vestry), bearing the names of those who served in the war. A clock was installed in the church tower to celebrate the restoration of peace.

The war memorial received some restoration work in 2010-11, at which time two plaques were added to the base, bearing the names of the First World War dead – the original carving having become illegible – as well as those lost in the Second World War.

In 2014 an exhibition was held in the church exploring the lives of those men lost in the First World War whose names are recorded on the war memorial. The war memorial stands within the Buckland St Mary Conservation Area.

Reasons for Listing

Buckland St Mary War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical interest: as a poignant reminder of the tragic impact of world events upon this rural community;
* Design: for its careful and well-executed design, by Frederick Bligh Bond, Thomas Falconer and Harold Baker, which deftly incorporates the shaft and socket stone of the Norman churchyard cross;
* Group value: with the Church of St Mary the Virgin, listed at Grade II*, the churchyard walls and lych gate, the school, the wellhouse, and with Buckland House, the former rectory, all listed at Grade II.

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