Listed Building: Selworthy War Memorial Cross
27 October 2016
Date last amended
Summary of Building
First World War memorial, with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Selworthy War Memorial Cross, which stands at the roadside in central Selworthy, 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 sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an elegant memorial cross in the medieval style;
* Group value: with the Church of All Saints (Grade I-listed) and a number of Grade II-listed buildings in close proximity.
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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
One such memorial was raised at Selworthy as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by eight members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was in place by 1929, when it was mapped by the Ordnance Survey on the 1:2500 County Series map of Somerset. Following the Second World War the names of eight men who died in that conflict were added.
The tall stone memorial cross stands on a raised paved platform at the roadside, to the west of the Church of All Saints (Grade I-listed) and in close proximity to a number of Grade II-listed buildings, in the Holnicote Estate (National Trust). It takes the form of an equal-armed cross at the top of a tapering shaft, that stands on an octagonal pedestal. That stands on an octagonal two-stepped base.
The First World War dedication and names are recorded on a bronze plaque fixed to the front face of the upper step, reading TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY OF THE GREAT WAR/ (8 NAMES) with the dates 1914 1918 either side of the column of names. The Second World War plaque, fixed to the front face of the lower step, repeats this dedication with the dates 1939 1945 either side of the column of names.
War Memorials Trust, War Memorials Online, accessed 05/01/2016 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/node/149134
Ordnance Survey 1:2500 County Series, Somerset (1929 Edn).
National Grid Reference: SS9194346815