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Alphington War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Alphington, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6999 / 50°41'59"N

Longitude: -3.5334 / 3°32'0"W

OS Eastings: 291807

OS Northings: 90041

OS Grid: SX918900

Mapcode National: GBR P0.RK88

Mapcode Global: FRA 37H7.793

Plus Code: 9C2RMFX8+XM

Entry Name: Alphington War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443076

Location: Alphington, Exeter, Devon, EX2

County: Devon

District: Exeter

Electoral Ward/Division: Alphington

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Exeter

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Alphington St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: War memorial

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First World War memorial incorporating a medieval cross head, unveiled 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.


The granite memorial cross stands on a green at the junction of Dawlish Road and Church Road, to the N of the Church of St Michael (Grade II*-listed) and in close proximity to a number of Grade II-listed structures. It takes the form of a tall, plain Latin cross that rises from a low pedestal, square on plan. The pedestal stands on a three-stepped, octagonal, base. A small cross shape is inset into the cross head. The dedicatory inscription in applied metal letters is recorded on the front face of the pedestal. It reads 1914 - 1919 1939 - 1945/ THIS ANCIENT CROSS/ WAS RESTORED TO THE GLORY OF GOD IN/ MEMORY OF OUR BRAVE MEN WHO DIED/ FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY 1914 – 1919.


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 Alphington 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 cross was unveiled on 30 October 1920 by Major-General Sir Louis Bols KCB KCMG DSO and dedicated by the Rector, Reverend BC Bennett. A memorial tablet raised inside the parish church, recording the names of servicemen who died in the First World War, was unveiled by Colonel HW Smith-Rewse CB CVO at the same ceremony: 29 names are commemorated. The memorials were paid for through public subscription.

The cross design is based on that of the medieval wayside cross (Grade II-listed) that stands at the junction of Alphington Road and Cowick Lane, circa 700m to the NW of the war memorial. The war memorial incorporates a small piece of medieval stonework, forming the cross head on top of the shaft, presumably from an earlier cross that stood at this end of the settlement. Following the Second World War the inscription on the memorial cross was adapted to mark the community’s Second World War losses.

Reasons for Listing

Alphington War Memorial Cross, which stands on the green at the junction of Dawlish Road and Church Road, 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 simple yet poignant granite memorial cross, based on Alphington’s Grade II-listed medieval wayside cross and incorporating medieval stonework from an earlier cross;
* Group value: with the Grade II*-listed Church of St Michael, and numerous Grade II-listed structures standing around the green.

External Links

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