History in Structure

Rowde War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Rowde, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3629 / 51°21'46"N

Longitude: -2.0324 / 2°1'56"W

OS Eastings: 397839

OS Northings: 162651

OS Grid: ST978626

Mapcode National: GBR 2TS.GZ6

Mapcode Global: VHB4F.Q0DH

Plus Code: 9C3V9X79+52

Entry Name: Rowde War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 16 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1451060

ID on this website: 101451060

Location: St Matthew's Church, Rowde, Wiltshire, SN10

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Rowde

Built-Up Area: Rowde

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Tagged with: War memorial


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


The granite memorial cross stands beside a path in the churchyard of the Church of St Matthew (Grade II*), close to several Grade II-listed churchyard monuments. It comprises a plain rough-hewn Latin cross standing on a tapering rough-hewn plinth, with a two-stepped square base.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the plinth, in applied metal lettering, reads IN/ LOVING MEMORY OF THE BRAVE/ OFFICERS AND MEN OF ROWDE WHO/ FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919./ (NAMES)/ REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THEM WHO CAME NOT/ HOME FROM THE WAR.

The later Second World War inscription, to the right-hand face of the plinth, reads IN/ REMEMBRANCE OF/ THOSE WHO FELL IN THE WAR/ 1939-1945/ (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 raised at Rowde as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 24 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial had been erected by 1922 when the Ordnance Survey County Series 1:2500 map sheet for the area, on which it appears, was revised. The names of nine parishioners who died during the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

A stone plaque nearby, inset into the lawn, commemorates the death at sea of a Royal Navy sailor in 1940. A further stone plaque has been erected on a low plinth adjacent to the memorial cross. This records five additional First World War names not originally included on the memorial cross, and five members of the Devizes Boys' Brigade who died during the Second World War.

Reasons for Listing

Rowde War Memorial Cross, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St Matthew, 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:

* a simple yet poignant memorial cross in granite.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Matthew (Grade II*) and a number of Grade II-listed churchyard monuments.

External Links

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