Grade II* listed war memorials in England

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There are 136 Grade II* listed war memorials in England, out of over 4,000 listed war memorials. In the United Kingdom, a listed building is a building or structure of special historical or architectural importance; listing offers the building legal protection against demolition or modification, which requires permission from the local planning authority. Listed buildings are divided into three categories—grade I, grade II*, and grade II—which reflect the relative significance of the structure and may be a factor in planning decisions. Grade I is the most significant and accounts for 2.5% of listed buildings, while grade II accounts for 92%. Grade II* is the intermediate grade accounting for the remaining 5.5%; it is reserved for "particularly important buildings of more than special interest".

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A war memorial listed at grade II* may be of particular artistic interest or accomplishment, of a highly unusual design, or of significant historical interest below that required for grade I. It is explicitly unnecessary for the architect or sculptor to be well known in order for a memorial to be listed at grade II*. [1] [2] As part of the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, Historic England—the government body responsible for listing in England—is running a project with the aim of significantly increasing the number of war memorials on the National Heritage List for England. [3]

This list includes only memorials that are grade II* listed buildings in their own right. Memorials which are not free-standing—such as a plaque on a church wall—or which form part of the curtilage of a listed building—such as a sculpture within a building—but do not have their own entry on the National Heritage List for England are not included.

War memorials in England take a wide variety of forms and commemorate centuries of conflicts, though memorials to conflicts and the soldiers who fought in them—rather than exclusively commemorating victorious commanders—only started to be commonplace after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which ended the Napoleonic Wars. The aftermath of the First World War (1914–1918) produced significantly more memorials than any other single conflict; thus this list is dominated by First World War memorials, many of which were later re-dedicated or added to reflect losses from the Second World War (1939–1945).

The list below also features five memorials to the Second Boer War (1899–1902), to which around 1,000 memorials were built in Britain, four commissioned specifically to commemorate the Second World War, and one each to the Seven Years' War (1756–1763) and the Crimean War (1853–1856). [4]

Memorials

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Manchester Cenotaph World War I memorial

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Southampton Cenotaph War memorial in Southampton, England

Southampton Cenotaph is a First World War memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located in Watts Park in Southampton, southern England. The memorial was the first of dozens by Lutyens to be built in permanent form and it influenced his later designs, including The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London. It is a tapering, multi-tiered pylon which culminates in a series of diminishing layers before terminating in a sarcophagus which features a recumbent figure of a soldier. In front is an altar-like Stone of Remembrance. The cenotaph contains multiple sculptural details including a prominent cross, the town's coat of arms, and two lions. The names of the dead are inscribed on three sides. Although similar in outline, Lutyens' later cenotaphs were much more austere and featured almost no sculpture. The design uses abstract, ecumenical features and lifts the recumbent soldier high above eye level, anonymising him.

Rainham War Memorial war memorial in London

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Bromley War Memorial war memorial in London

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Guards Memorial war memorial in Horse Guards Parade, London

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There are 20 Grade I listed war memorials in England, out of over 3,000 listed war memorials. In the United Kingdom, a listed building is a building or structure of special historical or architectural importance; listing offers the building legal protection against demolition or modification, which requires permission from the local planning authority. Listed buildings are divided into three categories—grade I, grade II*, and grade II—which reflect the relative significance of the structure and may be a factor in planning decisions. Grade II accounts for 92% of listed buildings, while grade II* is an intermediate grade accounting for 5.5%; grade I holds the remaining 2.5% of listed buildings and is reserved for structures of exceptional significance. Grade I listed war memorials are deliberately very few, though several have been upgraded to grade I status as part of commemorations around the First World War centenary. A war memorial listed at grade I will be of exceptional interest for its design and artistic merit and will be of great historical interest. Such memorials are often the work of famous architects or sculptors, amongst the most prolific of whom was Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose memorials account for a third of all those listed at grade I. Lutyens designed dozens of war memorials across the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, including the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London—the focus for the national Remembrance Sunday services—and the Arch of Remembrance in Leicester—the largest of Lutyens' war memorials in Britain; both are listed at grade I. As part of the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, Historic England—the government body responsible for listing in England—is running a project with the aim of significantly increasing the number of war memorials on the National Heritage List for England.

Spalding War Memorial First World War memorial in Spalding, Lincolnshire

Spalding War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in eastern England. It was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. The proposal for a memorial to Spalding's war dead originated in January 1918 with Barbara McLaren, whose husband and the town's Member of Parliament, Francis McLaren, was killed in a flying accident during the war. She engaged Lutyens via a family connection and the architect produced a plan for a grand memorial cloister surrounding a circular pond, in the middle of which would be a cross. The memorial was to be built in the formal gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall, which was owned by the local district council. When McLaren approached the council with her proposal, it generated considerable debate within the community and several alternative schemes were suggested. After a public meeting and a vote in 1919, a reduced-scale version of McLaren's proposal emerged as the preferred option, in conjunction with a clock on the town's corn exchange building.

Mells War Memorial war memorial in Mells, Somerset

Mells War Memorial is a First World War memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the village of Mells in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, south-western England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial is one of multiple buildings and structures Lutyens designed in Mells. His friendship with two prominent families in the area, the Horners and the Asquiths, led to a series of commissions; among his other works in the village are memorials to two sons—one from each family—killed in the war. Lutyens toured the village with local dignitaries in search of a suitable site for the war memorial, after which he was prompted to remark "all their young men were killed".

York City War Memorial War memorial in York, England

The York City War Memorial is a First World War memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located in York in the north of England. Proposals for commemorating York's war dead originated in 1919 but proved controversial. Initial discussions focused on whether a memorial should be a monument or should take on some utilitarian purpose. Several functional proposals were examined until a public meeting in January 1920 opted for a monument. The city engineer produced a cost estimate and the war memorial committee engaged Lutyens, who had recently been commissioned by the North Eastern Railway (NER) to design their own war memorial, also to be sited in York. Lutyens' first design was approved, but controversy enveloped proposals for both the city's and the NER's memorials. Members of the local community became concerned that the memorials as planned were not in keeping with York's existing architecture, especially as both were in close proximity to the ancient city walls, and that the NER's memorial would overshadow the city's. Continued public opposition forced the committee to abandon the proposed site in favour of one on Leeman Road, just outside the walls, and Lutyens submitted a new design of a War Cross and Stone of Remembrance to fit the location. This was scaled back to the cross alone due to lack of funds.

North Eastern Railway War Memorial First World War memorial in York in northern England

The North Eastern Railway War Memorial is a First World War memorial in York in northern England. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to commemorate employees of the North Eastern Railway (NER) who left to fight in the First World War and were killed while serving. The NER board voted in early 1920 to allocate £20,000 for a memorial and commissioned Lutyens. The committee for the York City War Memorial followed suit and also appointed Lutyens, but both schemes became embroiled in controversy. Concerns were raised from within the community about the effect of the NER memorial on the city walls and its impact on the proposed scheme for the city's war memorial, given that the two memorials were planned to be 100 yards apart and the city's budget was a tenth of the NER's. The controversy was resolved after Lutyens modified his plans for the NER memorial to move it away from the walls and the city opted for a revised scheme on land just outside the walls; coincidentally the land was owned by the NER, whose board donated it to the city.

Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial War memorial in Bury, UK

The Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Lancashire Fusiliers killed in that conflict. Outside the Fusilier Museum in Bury, Greater Manchester, in North West England, it was unveiled in 1922—on the seventh anniversary of the landing at Cape Helles, part of the Gallipoli Campaign in which the regiment suffered particularly heavy casualties. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Lutyens was commissioned in light of a family connection—his father and great uncle were officers in the Lancashire Fusiliers, a fact noted on a plaque nearby. He designed a tall, slender obelisk in Portland stone. The regiment's cap badge is carved near the top on the front and rear, surrounded by a laurel wreath. Further down are inscriptions containing the regiment's motto and a dedication. Two painted stone flags hang from the sides.

Runcorn War Memorial war memorial in Runcorn, Cheshire, England

Runcorn War Memorial was built to commemorate the servicemen of Runcorn lost in active service in the First World War. It was unveiled in 1920, and the names of those lost in the Second World War and subsequently were added later. The memorial stands in a small garden by a road junction in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, and consists of a Latin cross in white granite on a plinth and steps. Behind the cross is a wall containing plaques with inscriptions and the names of those who died. An inscribed stone has been added later with the names of those lost in subsequent conflicts. The war memorial is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.

Helsby War Memorial war memorial in Helsby, Cheshire, England

Helsby War Memorial was built to commemorate the servicemen of Helsby lost in active service in the First World War. It was unveiled in 1920, and the names of those lost in the Second World War were added later. The memorial stands in the churchyard of St Paul's Church in Helsby, Cheshire, England, and consists of a Celtic cross in sandstone on a pedestal and steps. On the shaft of the cross is an inscription and on the pedestal are the names of those lost in the conflicts. The war memorial is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.

Croydon Cenotaph war memorial in Croydon, London, England

Croydon Cenotaph is a war memorial, in Croydon, London, England. It is located outside Croydon Library, on Katharine Street in Croydon.

Kingston upon Thames War Memorial war memorial in London

Kingston upon Thames War Memorial, in the Memorial Garden on Union Street, Kingston upon Thames, London, commemorates the men of the town who died in the First World War. After 1945, the memorial was updated to recognise casualties from the Second World War. The memorial was commissioned by the town council and was designed by the British sculptor Richard Reginald Goulden. The memorial includes a bronze statue of a nude warrior, carrying a flaming cross and wielding a sword with which he defends two children from a serpent, erected on a granite plinth, with bronze plaques listing the names of the dead. Goulden designed a number of such allegorical memorials, including others at Crompton, Greater Manchester, and Redhill, Surrey. The Kingston memorial was designated a Grade II listed structure in 1983. This was revised upwards in 2016 to Grade II*, denoting a building or structure of particular importance.

References

  1. "The Listing and Grading of War Memorials". Historic England. July 2015. p. 2. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  2. "Listed Buildings". Historic England . Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  3. "The War Memorials Listing Project". Historic England . Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  4. Corke, pp. 4–9.