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East Harling War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in East Harling, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.4404 / 52°26'25"N

Longitude: 0.9314 / 0°55'53"E

OS Eastings: 599344

OS Northings: 286529

OS Grid: TL993865

Mapcode National: GBR SFF.VPT

Mapcode Global: VHKC9.3X8L

Plus Code: 9F42CWRJ+4H

Entry Name: East Harling War Memorial

Listing Date: 3 August 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1447714

Location: Harling, Breckland, Norfolk, NR16

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Harling

Built-Up Area: East Harling

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

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First World War memorial, unveiled on 9 May 1920, with Second World War additions.


First World War memorial, 1920, with Second World War additions.

MATERIALS: Cornish granite

DESCRIPTION: East Harling war memorial is located on a green at the centre of the junction between Cheese Hill, White Hart Street, and Market Street. The memorial takes the form of a tall wheel-head cross with a carved sword of sacrifice in relief to the front (west) face. The cross rises from a tapering plinth with two-stepped base below. The plinth carries the inscriptions and names.

INSCRIPTION: the principal inscription is to the west face and reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF EAST HARLING/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918./ R.I.P./ (14 NAMES). The north and south faces carry 11 names each.

The Second World War inscription is to the east face and reads 1939-1945/ (12 NAMES)/ R.I.P.

The memorial stands on a paved square enclosed by eight small, granite obelisk posts. These are joined by metal bars except to the east boundary, which has been left open.


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 East Harling 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 proposals for a memorial in East Harling were first discussed in a public meeting, chaired by Colonel E Mornement, held in May 1919. It was recorded at that time that around 175 men had served during the war and 31 were known to have died. Numerous ideas for what form the memorial should take were put forward, but a plinth located on Cheese Hill or in the Market Place was initially settled on. However, by June 1919, £227 had been subscribed towards the memorial and Colonel Mornement suggested they erect a 12 ft tall Cornish granite cross instead of the plinth. The possibility of locating the cross in the churchyard was discussed, but this proposal proved controversial and some attendees walked out on the meeting. Thus Cheese Hill was eventually decided upon by vote. The memorial was subsequently unveiled on 9 May 1920 by the Earl of Albemarle and dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford.

The memorial commemorates 36 local servicemen who fell in the First World War; the names of 12 men who fell in the Second World War were added around 1947.

In 2003, the War Memorials Trust awarded grant aid towards repairs, repointing and cleaning of the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

East Harling War Memorial, which is situated on a green at the centre of the junction between Cheese Hill, White Hart Street, and Market Street, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:
* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:
* as a well-executed granite wheel-head cross with sword of sacrifice.

Group Value:
* for its relationship with the Grade II listed houses, Crossways and Tillywhim.

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