Hamsterley Colliery 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: Hamsterley Colliery War Memorial
List entry Number: 1447357
A694, Hamsterley, County Durham, NE17 7SH
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: County Durham
District Type: Unitary Authority
Parish: Non Civil Parish
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 27-Jul-2017
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
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, with later additions for the Second World War. Restored in 2000.
Reasons for Designation
Hamsterley Colliery War Memorial, which stands on the main road in Hamsterley, 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 imposing memorial cross in the style of a High Cross or St John’s Cross of Iona.
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 Hamsterley as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by those colliery men who lost their lives in the First World War.
Hamsterley was the pit village for a colliery that had opened in 1864. The architect was Walter Brierley of Brierley and Rutherford and the memorial was built by Emley and Sons Ltd. The cross marks especially the death of Major Arthur T Watson, whose family ran Hamsterley Colliery. Watson died on 5 August 1917 during the Battle of Passchendaele. A further 58 men are named on the memorial, and following the Second World War the names of 24 men who died in that conflict were added. The memorial was restored and re-dedicated in 2000.
Hamsterley Colliery war memorial cross stands in a garden to the north of the main road through the village, opposite Axford Terrace. The tall stone cross is raised on a low bank with to the north a rake of steps leading down onto the lower lawn. A curving hedge encloses the lawn, screening the view to the River Derwent below, whilst modern railings* (that have replaced the original wooden fence) front the garden to the street.
The wheel-head cross is in the form of the St John’s Cross of Iona, with a reliquary modelled at the very top of the cross head and five hemispherical bosses decorating the cross head’s front face. The cross, including the circlet and shaft, is picked out with rope work. The dates 1914 and 1918 are carved in low relief to the front face of the shaft. The cross rises from a broad plinth, which stands on a single-stepped base. The whole is raised on a three-stepped base.
The foot of the shaft at the front face is inscribed: ARTHUR T. WATSON/ MAJOR, K.R.R./ KILLED IN ACTION/ AT PASSCHENDAELE/ 5TH AUGUST 1917/ THE WORKMEN OF THIS/ VILLAGE WISH TO PLACE/ ON RECORD THEIR/ SORROW AT THE LOSS/ OF THEIR FRIEND AND/ EMPLOYER WHOSE/ MEMORY THEY WILL/ HOLD IN AFFECTION/ FOR ALL TIME.
Continuing on the front face of the plinth, the principal dedication inscription is: IN HONOUR OF THE MEN OF THIS COLLIERY WHO/ FOUGHT AND IN EVER GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE/ OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR GOD/ AND COUNTRY, FOR RIGHT, FOR FREEDOM, AND/ FOR PEACE IN THE GREAT WAR./ “SEE YE TO IT/ THAT THESE SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN./ THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.” Below on the base is carved: HAMSTERLEY COLLIERY.
On the top step is the most recent inscription: IN THE YEAR 2000 AD/ THIS MEMORIAL WAS RESTORED BY/ THE PEOPLE OF HAMSTERLEY AND LOW WESTWOOD/ SO THAT GENERATIONS PRESENT AND FUTURE/ MAY HONOUR THE GREAT SACRIFICE MADE FOR US ALL. The commemorated First World War names are recorded on the plinth faces, whilst Second World War names are recorded on the base.
* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Durham Mining Museum, accessed 10 May 2017 from http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/h002.htm
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 10 May 2017 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=7546
War Memorials Online, accessed 12 July 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/247880/
War Memorials Register, accessed 12 July 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/10262
National Grid Reference: NZ1158856561
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2017 at 08:19:32.
End of official listing