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Final Lutyens war memorial listed

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Edwin Lutyens’ Gerrards Cross memorial hall has been handed a Grade II listing, meaning all 44 of his free-standing World War I memorials are now protected

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport made the decision to mark Remembrance Sunday, on the advice of Historic England (HE).

A further 14 of Lutyens’ memorials have also had their listing status upgraded – five to Grade I – with the rest given new descriptions on the National Heritage List for England.

The Gerrards Cross hall in Buckinghamshire was adapted in 1922 by Lutyens from the stables of the 18th century vicarage alongside. The portico contains a tall stone memorial plaque inscribed with 20 names from the First World War.

Roger Bowdler, director of listing at Historic England, said Lutyens was a key figure in determining how the dead and missing should be commemorated.

He said: ‘His pure architectural forms are mute symbols of grief, the simple inscriptions weighted with sorrow. 

‘These are enduring memorials, which show the power of classical architecture to convey meaning and dignity.’

He added that Lutyens’ war memorials now have the status of a national collection, on a par with Wren’s churches and Nash’s Regency terraces.

Culture secretary Tracey Crouch said:  “Our war memorials provide a lasting legacy for those who sacrificed so much and I’d encourage anyone to nominate their local memorials for listing and preserve them for generations to come.’

Last year, Historic England pledged to list a total of 2,500 war memorials over the centenary of the First World War. 

In partnership with the War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums £2million, HE is providing £2 million in grants to repair and conserve war memorials.


Gerrards Cross Memorial Building newly listed at Grade II –   East Common, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

Gerrards Cross Memorial Building is Lutyens’ only memorial building with a community purpose. The hall was adapted in 1922 by Lutyens from the stables of the 18th Century vicarage alongside (now the Grade II-listed Gerrards Cross Memorial Centre). The portico contains a tall stone memorial plaque inscribed with 20 names of those who died in the First World War.

Newly upgraded listed Lutyens’ memorials

Merchant Navy War Memorial Upgraded to Grade I (from II*) - Trinity Square Garden, Tower Hill, London

Lutyens designed this memorial to commemorate the 17,000 merchant sailors lost during the First World War with no known grave but the sea. This large memorial is in the form of an elegant Doric temple. Commissioned by the Imperial War Graves Commission and unveiled 12 December 1928 by Queen Mary, its bronze plaques bear the names of the almost 12,000 who died.

Spalding War Memorial Upgraded to Grade I (from II) - Ayscoughfee Hall, Lincolnshire

Spalding’s war memorial commemorates 224 lives lost during the First World War. Lutyens’ tranquil Tuscan pavilion design was chosen above five others, and includes a Stone of Remembrance.  Spalding’s MP Francis McLaren was killed in a flying accident on 30 August 1917 and it was his wife Barbara who proposed the memorial. It was unveiled 8 June 1922.

Southampton Cenotaph Upgraded to Grade I (from II*) - Watts Park, Southampton

Southampton’s war memorial is one of the first examples of Lutyens’ cenotaph design – derived from the Greek kenotaphion meaning empty tomb. A Stone of Remembrance is also present. This memorial is important as it helped set the context for Lutyens’ later designs and has an unusual amount of decorative carving, making it unique among Lutyens’ cenotaphs. The memorial was unveiled 6 November 1920.

Northampton War Memorial Upgraded to Grade I (from II*) - Wood Hill, Northampton

Lutyens designed two tall obelisks, flanked by huge painted stone flags, which stand either side of a Stone of Remembrance. The memorial was unveiled 11 November 1926 to immense crowds. The memorial is adjacent to the Grade I listed Church of All Saints.

Rochdale Cenotaph Upgraded to Grade I (from II) - Memorial Gardens, Town Hall Esplanade, Rochdale

Lutyens’ striking Cornish granite memorial is sited close to Grade I listed Rochdale Town Hall, used as a First World War enlisting point. The cenotaph was unveiled 26 November 1922. Lutyens’ original scheme was for a memorial bridge.

British Thomson-Houston War Memorial Upgraded to Grade II* (from II) - Technology Drive (moved from Mill Road), Rugby

This memorial is one of 15 War Crosses Lutyens designed. Commissioned by engineering firm British Thomson-Houston it was positioned outside their factory on Mill Road. Lutyens’ War Crosses are characterised by a tall minimalist shaft and a very short cross arm. This memorial has a time-capsule buried beneath it and the unusual feature of a circular plinth carrying the 243 names of the employees who died in the war.

Busbridge War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - Churchyard of St John the Baptist, Brighton Road, Busbridge

This memorial is one of 15 War Crosses Lutyens designed.  His War Crosses are characterised by a tall minimalist shaft and a very short cross arm. It is situated in the churchyard of Grade II* listed St John the Baptist which has a chancel screen by Lutyens (1899).  Busbridge was the home of celebrated garden designer Gertrude Jekyll with whom Lutyens collaborated with on a number of houses and gardens.  He designed three other memorials in the churchyard (all Grade II listed) dedicated to members of the Jekyll family.

Civil Service Rifles War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - Somerset House, Strand, London

This Lutyens’ memorial is unique in its form. An urn sits atop a column which contains a scroll with the names of the Civil Service Rifles’ 1,240 dead. The monument was originally situated in the centre of the courtyard at Somerset House, which had acted as the parade and drill ground for the regiment. It was unveiled by the Prince of Wales, the regiment’s Honorary Colonel, 27 January 1924. The memorial was moved to the Riverside Terrace in 2002.

Holy Island War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - The Heugh, Holy Island, Northumberland

This memorial overlooks Lindisfarne Castle, which Lutyens converted in 1902, and is one of 15 War Crosses he designed.  His War Crosses are characterised by a tall minimalist shaft and a very short cross arm. Lutyens chose Doddington stone to chime with the stone of nearby Lindisfarne Priory.

Royal Naval Division War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - Horseguards Parade, Westminster, London

Unveiled in 1925 on the 10th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, this memorial commemorates a noted Division of the First World War, created from naval personnel by Winston Churchill at the start of the war. The monument was kept in storage between 1939-1951 and is now back in its original position.

Royal Berkshire Regiment Cenotaph Upgraded to II* (from II) - Brock Barracks, Oxford Road, Reading

Lutyens’ simple yet elegant stone cenotaph deliberately echoes his Whitehall cenotaph. The Royal Berkshire memorial is the only one of Lutyens’ cenotaphs to be flanked by painted stone flags, a feature he wanted to include on the Whitehall cenotaph but which was rejected. The memorial was unveiled 13 September 1921 by the Regiment’s Colonel.

The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Cenotaph Upgraded to II* (from II) - Brenchley Gardens, Maidstone

This memorial commemorates the Regiment’s 6,866 officers and men who died in the First World War. Lutyens’ simple yet elegant stone cenotaph is two-thirds the size of his Whitehall cenotaph. It was unveiled 30 July 1921.

Southend-on-Sea War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - Clifftown Parade, Southend-on-Sea

Overlooking the Thames estuary Lutyens designed a simple yet elegant obelisk for Southend-on-Sea incorporating carved decoration and two heavily detailed, painted stone flags. The memorial was unveiled 27 November 1921 in front of a large gathering.

York City War Memorial Upgraded to II* (from II) - War Memorial Gardens, Leeman Road, York

This memorial is one of 15 War Crosses Lutyens designed.  His War Crosses are characterised by a tall minimalist shaft and a very short cross arm. It commemorates 1,162 servicemen from York who died fighting during the First World War. It took six years of controversy and nine potential sites before it was finally unveiled in front of huge crowds 22 June 1925.


All other First World War Memorials by Lutyens in England:

Whitehall Cenotaph, Grade I, London

The Arch of Remembrance, Grade I, Leicester

Abinger Common, Grade II, Surrey

Ashwell, Grade II, Hertfordshire

BMA Gates, Grade II, Tavistock Square, London

Devon County, Grade II*, Exeter

Fordham, Grade II, Cambridgeshire

Hartburn, Grade II, Morpeth

Hove, Grade II, East Sussex

Kings Somborne, Grade II, Hampshire

Lancashire Fusiliers, Grade II* (Upgraded 2015), Gallipoli Gardens, Bury

Leeds Rifles, Grade II, Leeds

Lower Swell, Grade II, Gloucestershire

Manchester, Grade II*

Mells, Grade II, Somerset

Midland Railway, Grade II*, Derby

Miserden, Grade II, Gloucestershire

Muncaster, Grade II, Cumbria

North Eastern Railways, Grade II*, York

Norwich, Grade II* (Upgraded 2014), Norfolk

Norwich Roll of Honour in Grade I Norwich Castle, Norfolk

OBLI, Cowley, Grade II, Oxford

Rolvenden, Grade II, Kent

Sandhurst, Grade II, Kent

South African War Memorial, Grade II, Richmond

Stockbridge, Grade II, Hampshire

Tyringham plaque in Grade II* Church of St Peter, Buckinghamshire

Wargrave, Grade II, Wokingham

In Grade II Wellington College chapel, Crowthorne

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