Banbury’s war memorial in People’s Park has been awarded listed building status by Historic England.
The monument has been added to the list of Buildings of Special Historic Interest and approval for the Grade II-listing was given by John Whittingdale MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport after Historic England submitted its recommendations.
The listing came into effect on Wednesday.
Cllr Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council, which is responsible for the memorial, welcomed the listing.
He said: “The monument is something that Banbury people are rightly proud of. It was erected in 1922 to honour the 325 men and one woman from the town who lost their lives in the First World War.
“New inscriptions were added after the Second World War to pay tribute to those who died in that conflict. The memorial is the centrepiece of the wreath-laying ceremony in Banbury on Remembrance Sunday each year, and to know that it is now a protected monument will be appreciated by many – particularly the descendants of those whose names are carved in the stone and to the veterans who turn out to remember fallen comrades.”
Susan Thompson, analysis officer for Historic England, added: “Listing helps us to mark a building’s significance and celebrate its special architectural and historic interest.
“It provides protection so that the monument’s special interest can be properly considered in managing its future.
“Banbury’s memorial has been listed because it is an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community – and to the sacrifices made in the conflicts of the 20th Century.
“The design is interesting. Historic England considers it to be a substantial, imposing, and well-proportioned Celtic cross – made of Portland Stone.”
The listing was made under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990.