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Markyate War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Markyate, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8398 / 51°50'23"N

Longitude: -0.4647 / 0°27'52"W

OS Eastings: 505873

OS Northings: 216797

OS Grid: TL058167

Mapcode National: GBR G5N.PB2

Mapcode Global: VHFRS.W0QZ

Entry Name: Markyate War Memorial

Listing Date: 5 August 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420358

Location: Markyate, Dacorum, Hertfordshire, AL3

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum

Civil Parish: Markyate

Built-Up Area: Markyate

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Markyate Street St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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War memorial, unveiled in 1921, dedicated to the fallen of the First World War.


Markyate war memorial was erected in 1921. Constructed of Portland Stone, the monument comprises a plain cross over a square-plan tapered pillar, tapered plinth and two stepped base. Forty names of the fallen of the First World War are inscribed on the plinth with lead lettering. A stepped red brick plinth wall encloses the memorial, with red brick gate piers and double-leaf cast-iron gates to the east. The west wall bears a roll of honour inscribed with the names of the fallen of the Second World War (1939-1945), and conflicts in Greece (1948) and Northern Ireland (1974).

The east elevation of the plinth reads: TO / THE GLORY OF GOD / AND / IN MEMORY OF / THE MEN / OF THE PARISH OF / MARKYATE / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914 - 1918
The east elevation of the base reads: WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 12 January 2017.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Prior to then memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that saw 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. Memorials thus provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
Markyate war memorial was unveiled on Armistice Day in 1921, in memory of the fallen of the First World War. The memorial was strategically positioned on the walking route between the early C18 Church of Saint John the Baptist (Grade II*) to the north, and the village cemetery to the west. The memorial is located on the west side of the historic Roman road, directly opposite the Grade II registered Markyate Cell Park.
A Roll of Honour was originally erected in the town’s recreation field on Cavendish Road in 1951, and was moved to its current location on the wall behind the First World War memorial at an unknown date. The Roll of Honour is dedicated to the men of the village who lost their lives during the Second World War, and conflicts in Greece and Northern Ireland.

In 2006/7 English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation granted £980 towards the cleaning of Markyate war memorial and plaque. The memorial was re-pointed and given a protective shelter coat, and the letters were re-painted and re-carved where necessary. The grant also covered the lifting of the paved surround, the laying of a new sub base and the re-laying of the paving and the steps.

Reasons for Listing

Markyate war memorial, unveiled in 1921, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;

* Group value: for the strong group value it holds with the Church of Saint John the Baptist (listed at Grade II*), other listed buildings nearby and Markyate Cell Park (Registered at Grade II);

* Artistic interest: as a simple but finely crafted stone cross.

Selected Sources

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