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Lydford War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Lydford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6466 / 50°38'47"N

Longitude: -4.1046 / 4°6'16"W

OS Eastings: 251299

OS Northings: 85109

OS Grid: SX512851

Mapcode National: GBR NY.8MHH

Mapcode Global: FRA 279C.DQ5

Entry Name: Lydford War Memorial

Listing Date: 19 October 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449717

Location: Lydford, West Devon, Devon, EX20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Lydford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


First World War memorial granite cross, unveiled 1921, with additions for later conflicts.


The granite memorial stands at Rowell Cross, in the road junction. It takes the form of a c4m tall Latin cross, rectangular in cross section, rising from a three-stepped octagonal base. The steps of the base are chamfered, as are the cross edges.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the upper step reads TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF THOSE/ FROM THIS PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR KING, COUNTRY AND FREEDOM/ 1914 – 1918. On the face to the left the Second World War dedication reads WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945 whilst the two later dedications, on the face to the right, read FALKLANDS/ 1982/ IRAQ/ 2003. The commemorated names are listed below, on the corresponding faces of the middle step. All the inscriptions are in applied metal lettering, and the names follow the same format throughout.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the memorial is surrounding by a small area paved with granite sets* and kerbing*.

* 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, 10 November 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 Lydford as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 13 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Initially local resident HT Radford had offered to provide a Village Reading Room as a war memorial but when inadequate funds were raised the plan changed. Radford designed a memorial cross, made by three ex-servicemen: Messrs Easterbrook, Stephens, and Rook were masons who had worked in the granite quarries at Princetown.

The memorial was unveiled on 18 December 1921 by Major JC Walford DSO in a prominent road junction chosen by the villagers over the churchyard. Following the Second World War the names of seven men and one woman (Sylvia Bickle, ATS, d1947 aged 19) were added. Servicemen who died in the Falklands conflict and in Iraq are also commemorated on the cross. The granite kerbing and setts around the memorial are more recent additions.

Reasons for Listing

Lydford War Memorial, which stands at Rowell Cross, 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 and C21.
Architectural interest:

*     an imposing granite memorial cross standing in a prominent position.

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