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Medieval cross and War Memorial, Cuddesdon

A Grade II Listed Building in Cuddesdon and Denton, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7228 / 51°43'22"N

Longitude: -1.1332 / 1°7'59"W

OS Eastings: 459967

OS Northings: 203029

OS Grid: SP599030

Mapcode National: GBR 8ZH.VQW

Mapcode Global: VHCXX.9YRP

Entry Name: Medieval cross and War Memorial, Cuddesdon

Listing Date: 25 October 1984

Last Amended: 20 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1047710

English Heritage Legacy ID: 246392

Location: Cuddesdon and Denton, South Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, OX44

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Cuddesdon and Denton

Built-Up Area: Cuddesdon

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Cuddesdon

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Cuddesdon

Summary

Medieval cross, adapted as a war memorial.

Description

In Wheatley stone, the cross comprises the lower part of the medieval cross shaft standing on a four-stepped base (square on plan), the lowest step of which incorporates some stonework dating to 1857. That includes two stones with the last remaining portion of an inscription, reading JESUS CHRIST +.

A bronze plaque fixed to the base records the names of men from the village, and some of the students at Cuddesdon College resident at the time they enlisted, who died on military service. The plaque’s dedication reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND TO HONOUR THOSE OF THIS VILLAGE/ AND OF CUDDESDON COLLEGE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE WORLD WARS/ THIS CROSS WAS RESTORED IN 2015/ (NAMES).

History

Cuddesdon’s medieval limestone cross, thought to date to the C13, stood originally in the village centre at a road junction until it was removed to the churchyard in 1857 and installed with a new base step including an inscription. Broken before 1804, a new cross head had been added at the time of the translation. That has since been removed and in 2015 the steps and cross shaft were moved onto the green, close to the original medieval location, restored, and re-dedicated as a war memorial.

In 1919 the incumbent of the parish church, Reverend JB Seaton, had proposed that the medieval cross be adopted as the village war memorial, but the idea was not taken forward. The village has a small war memorial shrine in the Church of All Saints (Grade I-listed), commemorating 22 men who died in the First World War and a further five who died in the Second World War. Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and another from the Parochial Church Council, supplemented by private donations, Seaton’s scheme was carried out.

The medieval stonework and two of the stones from the Victorian base were retained in the new setting, whilst a small number of decayed stones were replaced with pieces of Wheatley stone recovered from locations in the village. A new bronze plaque was added. The cross was re-dedicated on 8 November 2015 by the acting Bishop of Oxford.

Reasons for Listing

The medieval cross and village war memorial, which stands in the centre of Cuddesdon village, 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: the monument incorporates significant medieval material, sensitively adapted as a war memorial;
* Group value: with the Grade I-listed Church of All Saints and the Grade II-listed Lych Gate.

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