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Ashwell War Memorial

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: Ashwell War Memorial

List entry Number: 1175188


Lucas Lane, Ashwell

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ashwell

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 19-Nov-1984

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 162174

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

First World War memorial, 1921, by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Reasons for Designation

Ashwell war memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principle reasons:

* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the First World War; * Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944), who designed 58 extant memorials at home and abroad including the Cenotaph in Whitehall; * Design: a simple yet elegant War Cross, with the unusual feature of a two-stepped circular base rather than three.


Ashwell’s war memorial committee was set up in 1919 under the chairmanship of Wolverley Attwood Fordham, a local brewer, with his wife Phyllis as secretary. It invited proposals from Sir Reginald Blomfield (who submitted a design for a cross), Sir Edwin Lutyens (a cross, obelisk or Stone of Remembrance) and Tappers, a local builder (a cenotaph). The Lutyens cross was preferred and was endorsed following a public meeting in January 1920.

The cross was built by Messrs Holland, Hannen and Cubitt Ltd, the contractors for the Cenotaph in Whitehall. It was unveiled by Lord Hampden, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, on 4 December 1921. The cost was £557 with Lutyens being paid a fee of £42 19s 10d.

Sir Edwin Lutyens OM RA (1869-1944) was the leading English architect of his generation. Before the First World War his reputation rested on his country houses and his work at New Delhi, but during and after the war he became the pre-eminent architect for war memorials in England, France and the British Empire. While the Cenotaph in Whitehall (London) had the most influence on other war memorials, the Thiepval Arch was the most influential on other forms of architecture. He designed the Stone of Remembrance which was placed in all Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and in some cemeteries in England, including some with which he was not otherwise associated.


Ashwell’s war memorial stands east of the main village, on the meeting point of Lucas Lane and Station Road. It comprises a standard Lutyens War Cross in Portland stone which unusually is here set on a square podium which itself stands on two circular steps rather than the usual three.



North: 1919 (NAMES)

The names of those who fell in the Second World War are inscribed on the podium. The memorial, the ground to the front retained by a retaining kerb, is approached by a flight of six steps, contemporary with, and integral to, the memorial.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 14/10/2015

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 12 January 2017.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Skelton, T, Gliddon, G, Lutyens and the Great War, (2008), 82, 166
War Memorials Online, accessed 12 January 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 12 January 2017 from

National Grid Reference: TL 27254 39929


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End of official listing