The war memorial at All Saints Church in Northampton has been given Grade I listing status.
The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is included in a list of 44 First World War memorials designed by him that are now protected by listed building status.
The Northampton War Memorial was upgraded from Grade II to Grade I, the highest grade of listing. Sir Edwin designed two tall obelisks, flanked by huge painted stone flags, which stand either side of a Stone of Remembrance. The memorial was unveiled on November 11, 1926 to immense crowds.
The announcement brings to light Lutyens’ war memorials as a previously unrecognised national collection, a legacy like that of Wren’s churches or Nash’s Regency terraces. Seven of Lutyens’ memorials are now Grade I listed – representing half of the total number of all Grade I war memorials in England. Thoroughly researched by Lutyens expert Tim Skelton, their stories are now revealed.
These beautiful and poignant memorials vary in design and scale: from War Cross to obelisk, pavilion to arch, each tells its own solemn story. See below for a full list of Lutyens’ 44 First World War memorials in England.
Tracey Crouch, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Heritage, said: “The commemoration of the First World War Centenary has inspired people all over England to remember our shared history. 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.”
Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England, said: “Lutyens was a key figure in determining how the dead and missing should be commemorated. His designs are admired for the universality of their message. 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. We are also very grateful to volunteers who have helped us with these new listings – a new form of partnership.”
Historic England has pledged to list a total of 2,500 war memorials over the centenary of the First World War. To do this it needs members of the public to put their war memorials forward for listing.
A spokesman said: “This is all part of a wider partnership we have forged with War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums to help communities discover, care for and conserve their local war memorials. Working with enthusiastic volunteers across the country, the programme is providing up to £2million in grants for war memorial repair and conservation and hundreds of workshops to teach people how to record their memorials and put them forward for listing.
“Our goal is to see as many war memorials as possible are in a fitting condition for the centenary, and they remain cherished local landmarks for generations to come.”
For more information on listing, visit www.historicengland.org.uk/listingwarmemorials