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Black Torrington War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Black Torrington, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8283 / 50°49'41"N

Longitude: -4.1801 / 4°10'48"W

OS Eastings: 246557

OS Northings: 105456

OS Grid: SS465054

Mapcode National: GBR KK.X4W3

Mapcode Global: FRA 264X.1BX

Plus Code: 9C2QRRH9+8X

Entry Name: Black Torrington War Memorial

Listing Date: 19 December 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452556

Location: Black Torrington, Torridge, Devon, EX21

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Black Torrington

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


A First World War memorial, built in 1920; altered after the Second World War.


A First World War memorial, built in 1920; altered after the Second World War.

MATERIALS: granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial consists of a rough-hewn Latin cross, set on tapering shaft, which terminates in a tapering square plinth on a two stepped base.

The inscriptions are on recessed panels on the face of the plinth. The main inscription on the front face reads: IN MEMORY OF/ THOSE FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ (NAMES). The side face is inscribed: 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the memorial stands on a green, with shallow steps bounded by rounded-topped edging stones leading up to it. The edge of the green is delineated by tapering, square-section pylons joined by metal link fencing; the entrance to the green, at the foot of the steps, is a gateway with larger versions of the pylons as piers, and a wrought-iron pedestrian gate.


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 750,000 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 Black Torrington, 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 memorial was unveiled on 27 July 1920 by Colonel C E English and was dedicated by the Venerable Archdeacon of Totnes. The land the memorial sits on was given by the lord of the manor, Colonel Coham-Fleming.

The memorial commemorates eight local servicemen who died during the First World War. Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the six men who fell in that conflict.

Reasons for Listing

Black Torrington War Memorial 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:

* for its design, a well-executed granite cross.

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