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Wistow War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Wistow, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8136 / 53°48'49"N

Longitude: -1.1019 / 1°6'6"W

OS Eastings: 459232

OS Northings: 435634

OS Grid: SE592356

Mapcode National: GBR NSRB.7N

Mapcode Global: WHFCW.1DKR

Entry Name: Wistow War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 September 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459097

Location: Wistow, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8

County: North Yorkshire

District: Selby

Civil Parish: Wistow

Built-Up Area: Wistow

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.


First World War memorial, 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located to the south in All Saints churchyard overlooking Church Hill and set within a rectangular area delineated by chamfered granite kerb stones. This measures 1.5m long and 0.8m wide and is filled with gravel.

The Celtic style wheel-head cross of grey granite with a tapering shaft surmounts a tapering plinth. The plinth is set on a two-stepped stone and concrete rectangular base. The memorial is approximately 3.3m in height. The southern faces of the shaft and base are smooth but the remaining faces of the memorial are rough-hewn.

The southern face of the shaft, the plinth and the base bear leaded lettering giving the dedication and names of the fallen. The main inscription on the shaft reads TO THE/ HONOUR OF/ THE MEN/ FROM WISTOW/ WHO FOUGHT/ FOR GOD, KING/ AND COUNTRY/ AND IN/ GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF/ THOSE NAMED/ BELOW, WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR US IN THE/ GREAT WARS. The southern side of the plinth bears eighteen names of the men who fell during the First World War, organised by year, along with abbreviations for the regiment to which they belonged.

Below this, leaded lettering on the base reads “THE MEMORY OF THEIR SACRIFICE IS DEAR TO US”/ 1939 – 1945/ followed by the nine names of those who fell in the Second World War organised in alphabetical order.


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 Wistow 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 first mention of the Wistow memorial cross in honour of the men of the parish who fell in the First World War was in a notice dated 1 July 1920 announcing its erection, to the Registry of the Consistory court of York. On 27 July 1920 a faculty granting permission for its installation was issued. The memorial cross was unveiled on 7 November 1920 by Mrs Greeves, widow of the late vicar in the presence of Reverend Canon Bateman and Reverend Vincent Johnson and the ceremony was attended by churches of all denominations in the village. The memorial was completed at a cost of £150 by public donation. The design is said to have been inspired by another similar memorial at Wadsworth and Studwick and Lomas of Selby are credited for sculpting it.

The names of those who died in the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Wistow War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of All Saints, 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 sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a simple but elegant well-executed granite wheel-head cross.

Group value:

* with the Church of All Saints (Grade I).

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