Farndon Local History Pages


Barnston Memorial


Barnston Memorial

This memorial is an obelisk, standing on a high point on the Churton Road approach to the village from the Chester. It was erected circa 1858 as a memorial to Roger Barnston Esq. a Lieutenant Colonel in the Crimean War who resided locally at Crewe Hall.

From the Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project:

An obelisk with four lions at the base, pointing North, South, East and West. The lions are lying as if asleep, their heads lie on their front paws, and their front right paws curl around their mouths. The east face of the plinth is inscribed with raised letters. There is also a black medallion and above, a carved oak leaf swag with ribbons. On the south face is an inscription commemorating the life of Roger Barnston. The plinth is decorated on all of its edges with an architectural carved edge, acanthus leaves and a rope effect. The lions rest on imitation tomb chests, beneath which is a low circular wall which connects them all. The wall once had railings which have been removed.

This design was the result of a competition, the 400 cost being raised through public subscription.

The Barnston family lived in Farndon for over 600 years - they were major landowners in the parish. Details of the family can be found in Omerods' 'History of Cheshire'. It is known that the family adopted their name from the village in which they originated - Barnston in Wirral. Hugh de Berneston is the first known member of the family living in this village c.1293. He also owned lands in Woreleston.

After leaving the Wirral in the 14th Century, the Barnstons resided in Churton by Farndon for several centuries. By the end of the 18th Century they had acquired a town house in Chester, called Forest House in Forest Hill. They moved to Crewe Hill in the early 19th Century.

Robert Barnston married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Whitmore. In c.1749, Robert and Elizabeth Barnston had a son, Roger who became the first Colonel of the Royal Cheshire Militia. He played an active part in raising this force in the expectation of Napoleon's invasion. He was married to Anne Parker, the daughter of Reverend John Parker of Astle, whose wife was a Miss Gartside. It is thought that it was through the Gartsides that the Barnston's inherited Crewe Hill. Roger Barnston dies at the age of 88 years in 1837, leaving his estate to his only surviving son, Roger Harry Barnston. This son married Selina, daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray MD of Chester, and secondly Emma, daughter of James Boydell of Chester. Two sons of Roger Harry and Selina served in the Crimean War, and their letters were published in 1904. Their names were Major William Barnston and Major Roger Barnston. Correspondence cover the period of 1854-58. There is a window in the Barnston Chancel at Farndon to the memory of William Barnston who died aged 40 years in 1872. His brother Roger died in 1857 after being wounded at Lucknow.

A competition was held in which the prize was offered for the best design for a memorial for him. This was to be raised by public subscription. A design by Ed. A. Heffer was selected and the monument was placed in an elevated position between Farndon and Churton. The total cost of the monument was 400. There is also a monument to Roger Barnston in the Barnston Chancel in Farndon Church, and an inscribed stone on his grave in the mirpore cemetery at Cawnpore where he died.


Inscription

Facing Churton Road: BARNSTON (in raised letters)

Facing west: ERECTED IN MEMORY OF / ROGER BARNSTON, ESQ.re / OF CREWE HILL, MAJOR AND BREVET LIEUT. COLONEL / OF HER MAJESTY'S 90TH LIGHT INFANTRY C.B. / AND KNIGHT OF THE LEGION OF HONOR AND THE ORDER OF THE / MEDJIDIE; / BY HIS TENANTS AND HIS FRIENDS. / HE SERVED IN THE CRIMEAN WAR FROM THE 5th DECEMBER 1854; / AND WAS PRESENT AT THE SIEGE, AND FALL OF SEBASTOPOL; / AND ALSO IN THE INDIAN MUTINY CAMPAIGN IN 1857; / IN WHICH HE RECEIVED A SEVERE WOUND WHILST GALLANTLY LEADING AN ASSAULT / AT THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW, ON / THE 16th NOVEMBER 1857, FROM THE EFFECTS OF WHICH HE DIED AT / CAWNPORE ON THE 23rd DECEMBER 1857; / AGED 31 YEARS / AND WAS INTERRED IN THE MUTINY CEMETERY AT THAT STATION.

Signature: Upside down W with a horizontal line above. Left hand side of base.

Source: Public Monument and Sculpture Association - National Recording Project - Obelisk commemorating Roger Barnston



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