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Bishops Cannings War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3765 / 51°22'35"N

Longitude: -1.9477 / 1°56'51"W

OS Eastings: 403734

OS Northings: 164166

OS Grid: SU037641

Mapcode National: GBR 3W1.LDD

Mapcode Global: VHB49.6N5L

Entry Name: Bishops Cannings War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1451012

Location: Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire, SN10

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


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


The memorial stands in the western part of the churchyard of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade I) in a prominent location adjacent to the main road. It is in close proximity to a number of listed churchyard monuments and nearby dwellings.

The war memorial comprises a 3.6m tall stone wheel-head cross in the Celtic style set at the top of a slender cross shaft, rectangular in section. The face of the cross head is decorated with a relief-carved cross crosslet. The top and bottom of the shaft are decorated with panels of Celtic interlace to the front and rear faces: the sides of the upper panel are moulded, forming a type of collar or support for the cross head. The edges of the cross shaft are picked out by a carved rope decoration.

The cross shaft is set on a tapered pedestal with a chamfered top, the top edge of which is also decorated with a relief-carved angular key design. The four faces of the pedestal bear black-painted inscriptions and names. The monument stands on a square base with a chamfered top.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the west face of the pedestal reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY/ OF THOSE FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1918. The names of the 23 fallen are listed by name, rank and date of death on the north and south faces of the pedestal. The east face of the pedestal bears the names of the two local servicemen who died during the Second World War, again including their rank and date of death, reading 1939-1945/ (2 NAMES).


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 erected in the churchyard at Bishops Cannings as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 23 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The names of two parishioners who fell during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Bishops Cannings War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard, 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

* an elegant stone memorial cross incorporating intricate interlace carving, in the Celtic style.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Mary the Virgin (Grade I), numerous listed churchyard monuments (Grade II* and Grade II), and adjacent Grade II-listed dwellings.

Other nearby listed buildings

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