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HER Number:MDV369
Name:Atherington War Memorial


Memorial to the fallen of both World Wars. In the form of a cross mounted on a plinth, possibly utilising earlier fabric.


Grid Reference:SS 591 231
Map Sheet:SS52SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAtherington
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishATHERINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS52SE/5/3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS (Early Medieval to XVIII - 1066 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • WAR MEMORIAL (World War I to XX - 1914 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1938, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part II, 307 (Article in Serial). SDV6308.

'Pound cross'. The base of an ancient cross with circular steps called pound cross remaining in the churchyard, but no stone erect, nor any inscription. Dean Milles' parochial collection circa 1750.

Walls, S., 2006, Atherington War Memorial Cross (Ground Photograph). SDV356236.

Watson, A., 2007-2017?, Devon Crosses, 11, (Vol 1), sketch (Un-published). SDV360833.

Altherington Churchyard 'Pound Cross' SS591231
This ancient cross base is lying in the churchyard, on the right-hand side of the south porch of the church. An octagonal base of an ancient cross named 'Pound Cross', the front is solid and the sides have projecting edges. There are faint marks on its surface showing where the pedestal once stood, it has no stone erect, nor any inscription.
Cross measurements: cross base 1.52 by 0.15 metres high. Projecting edge 6.35 centimetres thick. Octagonal.

GetMapping, 2010, GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV351585.

Dick, A. M., 2013, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV351336.

Identification of the cross described by Brine with the descriptions of Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division and Masson-Phillips is uncertain.

Brine, M. E., 2013, War Memorials, Photo (Website). SDV351333.

Churchyard war memorial.
The origin of the cross which forms the upper part of this memorial is not known. It bears a series of carvings, the most striking of which is the sword on the face on which the Great War casualties are recorded. The difference in colouration between the upper and lower parts of the memorial suggest that a much older cross was utilised when the memorial was erected. It stands in a conspicuous place in the churchyard at Atherington mounted on two plinths, the upper of which carries the names. The base of the cross itself appears to have been cleaned and prepared for the application of this dedication:

Two names appear on a side panel headed 1939 - 1945 and this side of the stone has worn badly so that the names are not easy to read.

Imperial War Museum, 2014, War Memorials Archive, 25439 (Website). SDV356253.

Base surmounted by plinth, tapering shaft and Maltese cross. Inscription on the base of the cross and on two sides of the plinth. Sword in releif on the front face of the cross.

Historic England, 2017, Atherington War Memorial Cross, The Churchyard, Church of St Mary, B3227, Atherington (Correspondence). SDV360075.

Atherington War Memorial is being assessed for listing as part of Historic England's First World War Commemoration project

The war memorial was erected to commemorate the members of the parish who died during the First World War. It was unveiled and dedicated at an open-air service on Friday 1 July 1921.

The two-tiered square plinth is topped by an obelisk. The S face of the plinth bears the names of the Fallen integrated within a dedication in raised lettering that reads: ‘IN GRATEFUL AND/ HONOURED REMEMBRANCE/ OF THOSE FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR KING AND EMPIRE IN THE/ GREAT WAR, 1914-1918/ (NAMES)/ THEY WERE A WALL UNTO US/ BOTH BY NIGHT AND DAY. 1SAMUEL XXV.16’. The memorial is surrounded by a square enclosure of low tubular railings attached to eight small obelisk-shaped granite posts.

Historic England, 2017, Atherington War Memorial, Atherington (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV360202.

Historic England has decided to add Atherington War Memorial Cross to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

The memorial is situated in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary (Grade I-listed), in close proximity to a number of Grade II-listed churchyard monuments and the Lych Gate. It is not within a Conservation Area. There are no known threats to the memorial.

The owner, the Parish Council, the local authority, the Historic Environment Record (HER) and War Memorials Trust were invited to comment on the factual details of the case as part of the consultation process. The owner replied, asking questions about the implications of listing but made no comment on the factual content of the report. The Parish Council responded, raising no objection to a proposal to list.

This is a simple yet poignant example of the cross type of war memorial, in granite and incorporating the symbol of a sword which is, unusually, carved with the hilt downward rather than centred in the cross-head. Standing in a prominent position in close proximity to the Grade I-listed parish church and close to numerous Grade II-listed heritage assets, it commemorates those local servicemen who died in both the First and also the Second World War. Overall, it is considered that the memorial has special architectural and historic interest and meets the criteria for listing.

In recommending the extent of the listing, we have considered whether powers of exclusion under s1 (5A) of the 1990 Act are appropriate, and consider that they are not.

After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the
architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing are fulfilled. Atherington War Memorial is
therefore recommended for listing at Grade II.
Atherington War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard, is recommended for listing 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 sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a simple yet poignant granite memorial cross;
* Group value: with the Church of St Mary (Grade I) and the Lych Gate and numerous churchyard
monuments listed at Grade II.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV70730.

Visited 30/11/1953. An approximately circular turf covered mound with stone content. It has only vague suggestions of steps and it is surmounted by a modern cross. No one, including the rector had heard it referred to as the pound cross. Mound - diameter 2.8m, height 0.5m.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV351333Website: Brine, M. E.. 2013. War Memorials. http://www.devonheritage.org/WarMemorials.htm. Website. Photo.
SDV351336Personal Comment: Dick, A. M.. 2013.
SDV351585Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 2010. GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs. Getmapping. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #89217 ]
SDV356236Ground Photograph: Walls, S.. 2006. Atherington War Memorial Cross. The Materiality of Remembrance. Digital.
SDV356253Website: Imperial War Museum. 2014. War Memorials Archive. www.ukniwm.org.uk. Website. 25439.
SDV360075Correspondence: Historic England. 2017. Atherington War Memorial Cross, The Churchyard, Church of St Mary, B3227, Atherington. Application Received to Add Building to List. Digital.
SDV360202List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Historic England. 2017. Atherington War Memorial, Atherington. Additions and Amendments to Checklist. Digital.
SDV360833Un-published: Watson, A.. 2007-2017?. Devon Crosses. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 11, (Vol 1), sketch.
SDV6308Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1938. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part II. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 70. A5 Hardback. 307.
SDV70730Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS52SE10. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV121519Related to: Cross in Atherington Churchyard (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 22 2018 4:43PM