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Willington, Oakenshaw, and Page Bank War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Greater Willington, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7085 / 54°42'30"N

Longitude: -1.6836 / 1°41'0"W

OS Eastings: 420486

OS Northings: 534873

OS Grid: NZ204348

Mapcode National: GBR JFPZ.9Y

Mapcode Global: WHC4W.3XK9

Entry Name: Willington, Oakenshaw, and Page Bank War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1442998

Location: Greater Willington, County Durham, DL15

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Greater Willington

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Willington and Sunnybrow

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1924, with later additions for the Second World War.


The c7m tall memorial, in Creetown granite, stands to the south of Low Willington. It takes the form of a tall cross; the cross head is based on St Cuthbert’s cross, with carved ornamentation to the cross arms and centre. The front face of the cross shaft is divided into three blind panels. The shaft rises from the broad plinth, that stands on a stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the plinth reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN SACRED MEMORY OF THE GALLANT MEN/ OF/ WILLINGTON, OAKENSHAW AND PAGE BANK/ WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1918./ AND THE WORLD WAR. 1939 - 1945./ “THEY DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE”. The commemorated names are recorded on the remaining faces of the plinth, ordered by locality.

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, 6 March 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Willington as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the men from Willington, Oakenshaw, and Page Bank who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 8 November 1924 by Lord Lambton, Earl of Durham, and dedicated by the Rector, Reverend J Duncan OBE. It commemorates 150 servicemen from the district who died during the First World War. The memorial was designed and built by William Allison and Son of Bishop Auckland, and paid for through public subscription. Prior to the erection of the stone cross, a temporary wooden cross had been used for acts of remembrance. Following the Second World War the names of 65 men who died in that conflict were added. The area around the war memorial was landscaped in 2005.

The firm of Messrs W Allison and Son was responsible for a number of war memorials in the region, including the Grade II-listed memorials at Escomb, Coundon, and Hunwick.

Reasons for Listing

Willington, Oakenshaw, and Page Bank War Memorial, which stands on Low Willington, 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 has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a tall, elegant, memorial cross incorporating the ornamented cross form of the patron saint of Durham, St Cuthbert.

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