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Upton and District War Memorial Cross

A Grade II Listed Building in Chester, Cheshire West and Chester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2147 / 53°12'52"N

Longitude: -2.8861 / 2°53'9"W

OS Eastings: 340926

OS Northings: 368994

OS Grid: SJ409689

Mapcode National: GBR 7B.1FFN

Mapcode Global: WH887.MGWD

Plus Code: 9C5V6477+VH

Entry Name: Upton and District War Memorial Cross

Listing Date: 8 August 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1458142

Location: Upton-by-Chester, Cheshire West and Chester, CH2

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Upton-by-Chester

Built-Up Area: Chester

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Summary


First World War memorial, unveiled 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.

Description

The Upton and District Cross stands in a small garden, situated beside the junction of Wealstone Lane and Heath Road. The memorial is made of Darley Vale stone. It comprises a tall wheel-head cross standing on a pedestal, square on plan, standing on a three-stepped square base. The plain, tapering, cross-shaft supports a wheel-head cross decorated with Celtic knot work carved in low relief. The memorial cross stands on a raised paved area, approached by two steps to the front.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the pedestal reads THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 19./ IN HONOURED MEMORY OF THE MEN/ CONNECTED WITH UPTON AND DISTRICT/ WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES IN THE/ SERVICE OF THEIR KING AND COUNTRY/ THIS CROSS IS ERECTED BY THEIR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS/ “THEIR MEMORY HALLOWED IN THE LAND THEY LOVED”. The names of the men who died are recorded on the eastern face of the plinth.

After the Second World War a square stone block was placed on the stepped base to the front of the memorial, spanning two of the steps, to accommodate the later dedication which reads THESE MEN GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945 (9 NAMES).

History

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 Upton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 27 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The Upton and District Cross was unveiled on 13 February 1921 by Sir Philip B Grey Egerton. He had provided the land on which the memorial is built, in memory of his two sons who both died in the First World War. An address was given by Bishop Mercer. The memorial was funded by public subscription, although significant donors included Sir John Frost, Mr A Tyrer and Sir Philip B Grey Egerton. It was designed by Cheshire architect Mr RH Lockwood, who also designed the war memorials at Nantwich (Grade II) and Ellesmere Port, and was built by HA Clegg and Sons at a cost of £590.

Of the remaining balance of £180 of donations, £120 was entrusted to Upton Parish Council for the upkeep of the memorial. After the Second World War nine names were added on an extra stone at the front of the monument at a cost of £38, once again by public subscription. The cross was rededicated on 13 May 1948. The memorial was moved back slightly, and the stonework renovated, by Clegg and Sons in 1957. In 1997 the memorial was cleaned and refurbished.

Reasons for Listing

Upton and District War Memorial Cross, which stands beside the junction of Wealstone Lane and Heath Road, 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 imposing wheel-head cross including carved interlace ornamentation, in the Celtic style, designed by RH Lockwood.

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