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St Ives Cross of Sacrifice

A Grade II Listed Building in Saint Ives, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.3232 / 52°19'23"N

Longitude: -0.0726 / 0°4'21"W

OS Eastings: 531452

OS Northings: 271201

OS Grid: TL314712

Mapcode National: GBR K4C.6H0

Mapcode Global: VHGLY.PVGY

Entry Name: St Ives Cross of Sacrifice

Listing Date: 10 November 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1422047

Location: Saint Ives, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, PE27

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire

Civil Parish: St. Ives

Built-Up Area: St Ives

Traditional County: Huntingdonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: St Ives All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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War memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, unveiled on 11 November 1920, dedicated to the fallen of the First World War, with the names of the fallen of the Second World War added at a later date.


St Ives Cross of Sacrifice is a replica of the Cross of Sacrifice, designed by Sir Reginald Bromfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission. Unveiled 11th November 1920.

The octagonal cross sits on an octagonal plinth, with a three-stepped octagonal base and platform. The cross, plinth and base were constructed of limestone, and the cross bears a bronze sword on its west elevation. The monument measures 24ft 6 inches in height. Metal railings were added to the platform at a later date, and are not included in this assessment.

The inscription on the octagonal plinth reads: MEN OF / ST IVES / WHO HAVE / FALLEN / IN THE / GREAT WAR / MDCCCCXIV / MDCCCCXVIII
The inscription on the south elevation of the plinth reads: WE HERE / HIGHLY RESOLVE / THAT THESE DEAD / SHALL NOT / HAVE DIED / IN VAIN
Seventy four names of the fallen of the First World War (1914-1918) are inscribed on the plinth. Thirty one names of the fallen of the Second World War (1939-1945) are inscribed on the base.

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, 16 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. This led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. 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 the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
The memorial cross at St Ives is a replica of the Cross of Sacrifice, designed by Sir Reginald Bromfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), and is usually present in Commonwealth war cemeteries containing forty or more graves. It is normally a freestanding four point limestone Latin cross embedded with a bronze sword mounted on an octagonal base, in one of three sizes ranging in height from 18 to 32 feet.
St Ives Cross of Sacrifice was unveiled on Armistice Day in 1920, in memory of the fallen of the First World War (1914-1918). The names of the fallen of the Second World War (1939-1945) were added at a later date. The memorial is strategically and prominently located in the centre of Market Hill, in close proximity to a range of civic and commercial buildings including a C19 Free Church, Town Hall, several public houses and a former Corn Exchange, all listed at Grade II. The war memorial stands to the east of a statue of Oliver Cromwell, erected c1901 and listed at Grade II.
Refurbishment works were carried out on the memorial in 2011 at a cost of £3,375, which was raised by public subscription under the auspices of the Civic Society of St Ives. These works included the cleaning, re-defining and re-painting of all lettering and the filling of all cracks to prevent water access.

Reasons for Listing

St Ives Cross of Sacrifice, unveiled in 1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as an example of the iconic monument designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield;

* 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;

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

* Strong group value: for its prominent location at the centre of Market Hill, and its proximity to several religious, civic and commercial buildings (all listed at Grade II); including the Town Hall (NHLE 1330649) and a statue to Oliver Cromwell (NHLE 1161588).

Other nearby listed buildings

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