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Ashwell War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashwell, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0432 / 52°2'35"N

Longitude: -0.1459 / 0°8'45"W

OS Eastings: 527254

OS Northings: 239929

OS Grid: TL272399

Mapcode National: GBR J66.ZWM

Mapcode Global: VHGN8.FX62

Entry Name: Ashwell War Memorial

Listing Date: 19 November 1984

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1175188

English Heritage Legacy ID: 162174

Location: Ashwell, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, SG7

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Ashwell

Built-Up Area: Ashwell

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Ashwell

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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


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.



South: 1914 (NAMES)

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.


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.

Reasons for Listing

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.

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