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Eighton Banks War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Lamesley, Gateshead

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Latitude: 54.9226 / 54°55'21"N

Longitude: -1.5695 / 1°34'10"W

OS Eastings: 427691

OS Northings: 558736

OS Grid: NZ276587

Mapcode National: GBR KCHJ.06

Mapcode Global: WHC3Y.VJTN

Plus Code: 9C6WWCFJ+26

Entry Name: Eighton Banks War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 June 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1464125

Location: Lamesley, Gateshead, NE9

County: Gateshead

Civil Parish: Lamesley

Built-Up Area: Gateshead

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear


First World War memorial, 1921, by D Morrison, with a Second World War addition.


First World War memorial, 1921, by D Morrison, with Second World War addition.

MATERIALS: sandstone cross, with polished granite tablets, on a concrete base.

DESCRIPTION: Eighton Banks War Memorial takes the form of a Celtic wheel cross, mounted on a stone pedestal, set on an ashlar plinth that is raised on a three-stepped base. It is set within a square-plan concrete podium enclosed by low diamond-set iron bar railings, supported by stone posts, with pyramidal tops. The cross arms have an anchor, a heart, a Latin cross, and a Moline cross carved in relief in recessed panels to each side, with chain-link carving to the ring. The four sides of the shaft are divided into recessed panels and decorated with crosses to the upper panels, the inscription PRO/ PATRIA to the central panels and laurel wreathes carved in relief to the lower panels. The moulded shaft base rests upon a plinth with angled scroll corner brackets set upon angled rock-faced quoins. The recessed spaces between the quoins have ashlar sills that form drip moulds over polished granite tablets, each inscribed with the names of the Fallen in gilded lettering, in an abbreviated form, giving the rank, name, and regiment, or service of an individual. The last three names on the north tablet were added at a later date, with the final name carved into the panel below the granite tablet.

The original 1914 - 1918 dedication tablet is attached to the east face of the plinth and reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR FOR HONOUR AND FREEDOM./ GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT A MAN/ LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. A similar dedication panel commemorating the Fallen of the Second World War is attached to the west face of the plinth and reads: IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF/ THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945/ "WE WILL REMEMBER THEM".


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 Eighton Banks as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 77 members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.

War memorial committees established in the adjacent communities of Eighton and Wreckenton were amalgamated in June 1920, and the single committee decided to replace the wooden cross situated within the Church of St Thomas with a memorial in the churchyard. The war memorial takes the form of a Celtic wheel cross, designed and sculpted by D Morrison, who had to obtain special Diocesan permission for the words 'Pro Patria', to be incised upon it. The cross was estimated to cost £186 17s 0d and the funds were raised by public subscription, with substantial donations of 50 Guineas from the owners of Springwell and Vale Collieries, and 10 Guineas from Pelaw Main Colliery. The memorial was unveiled by Dr Parkin of Newcastle in front of a substantial crowd attending a dedication service given by the Rural Dean, Reverend CE Little, on 30 April 1921. The names of the Fallen from the First World War are recorded on tablets on the four sides of the monument.

Following the Second World War, a further commemorative tablet dedicated to the Fallen from that conflict was added to the base of the west elevation.

Eighton Banks War Memorial is situated in a prominent position, facing out over the boundary wall of the churchyard of the Church of St Thomas.

Reasons for Listing

Eighton Banks War Memorial, erected 1921, by D Morrison, 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 elaborate and well-designed Celtic wheel cross, built using good quality materials, which provides an elegant and fitting tribute to the Fallen of the Parish.

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