A lych gate and war memorial commemorating the parish dead of the First World War, sited in a prominent corner position at the entrance to the grounds of the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Light and St Osyth, Clacton-on-Sea.
Reason for Listing
The lych gate, constructed in 1925 and located at the entrance to the grounds of the Church of Our Lady of Light and St Osyth on the corner of Church Road and Holland Road, Clacton-on-Sea, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this parish community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflict of 1914-18; * Architectural interest: as a well-detailed Arts and Crafts gabled design of oak, brick and stone, with good sculptural detail; * Group value: the lych gate forms the entrance to the grounds of the Church of Our Lady of Light and St Osyth, Clacton-on-Sea, listed at Grade II, with which the gate has group value.
The lych gate was built at the entrance to the Church of Our Lady of Light and St Osyth in about 1925 to honour the parish dead of the First World War. The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that memorials provided the main focus for the grief felt at this great loss.
Lych gate of 1925 at the entrance to the Church of our Lady of Light and St Osyth. MATERIALS: oak framed war memorial on a Lincolnshire limestone plinth, with herringbone brick at the sides (to gate height), oak gates and a gabled tile roof. EXTERIOR: open gabled design, the woodwork richly carved with quatrefoils (on the gables) and naturalistic foliage (in the pendentives). On the front there are carved figures of St Osyth (left) and St Charles (right) on the main uprights, and above, placed centrally on a king post, a figure of Our Lady of Light with a dove and inscription below (‘humilitas’). Within the lych gate to the left is an oak panel recording six parish war dead, with an inscription over (‘Pro Patria Mortui Sunt 1914-1918’).
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.