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Fowey War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Fowey, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3353 / 50°20'7"N

Longitude: -4.6352 / 4°38'6"W

OS Eastings: 212560

OS Northings: 51697

OS Grid: SX125516

Mapcode National: GBR N6.X95V

Mapcode Global: FRA 1854.XP3

Plus Code: 9C2Q89P7+4W

Entry Name: Fowey War Memorial

Listing Date: 4 May 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445602

Location: Fowey, Cornwall, PL23

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Fowey

Built-Up Area: Fowey

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Fowey

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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A stone war memorial cross of 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.


A war memorial cross, retaining walls and steps of 1921 date.
MATERIALS: of dressed granite.
DESCRIPTION: the war memorial cross is on a three-stepped octagonal base. The tapering rectangular shaft is richly carved with Cornish and Stafford knot designs to the front (E) and rear faces, and beading to the limbs. The shaft is surmounted by a wheel-head cross. Attached to the bottom step on the N and S sides are stone flower holders set within a paved surface. The eight faces of the top step of the base are inscribed A S/ MCMXIV – MCMXIX/ TO THE GREATER/ GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY/ OF/ XL MEN OF THIS/ BOROUGH/ WHO BY LAND/ AND SEA/ DYING FOR THEIR/ COUNTRY/ HEIRS OF HER/ SPIRIT NOW/ INHERIT LIFE/ ETERNAL. The middle step is inscribed REMEMBER/ (NAMES). The lower step is inscribed MCMXXXIX – MCMXLV/ (NAMES). A sword is carved in relief on the tread of the E side of the lower step.

The memorial stands in the corner of the churchyard surrounded by dressed granite walls and sunken steps that extend to the churchyard wall. The steel railings* and entrance gates* are of later date.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

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 June 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. One such memorial was raised at Fowey 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 war memorial to members of the Borough who fell in the First World War was unveiled on Sunday 17 April 1921 by Major-General Sir Frederick C Poole KBE CB CMG DSO. The design of the head is taken from the cross in the Churchyard of St Columb. The carvings on the memorial are taken from a cross at Cardinham Church and the forty knots or twines in the Cornish style on the back represent the 40 men of the Borough who fell in the First World War. Among these is Major Bevil Quiller-Couch DSO, MC of the Royal Field Artillery. He was the son of the celebrated Cornish writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (‘Q’). Major Quiller-Couch’s war service spanned the duration of the war, including the First and Third Battles of Ypres, but he died during the Spanish flu epidemic while on active service in Germany in 1919. His fiancé was the war poet May Wedderburn Cannan (1893-1973) and she dedicated her second volume of poetry ‘The Splendid Days’ (1919) to him.

Following the Second World War, those who fell in that conflict were also commemorated on the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Fowey War Memorial, including retaining walls and steps, 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;
* Historic Association: with Major Bevil Quiller-Couch, son of prolific writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and fiancé of war poet May Wedderburn Cannan;
* Architectural interest: a well-crafted cross design in dressed granite utilising distinctive Cornish-style design work;
* Degree of survival: the structure, including granite retaining walls and steps, is unaltered;
* Group value: with the Church of St Fimbarrus (Grade I) and many other listed buildings.

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