As work continues at the Preston Cenotaph site many recent visitors commented on the ‘ugliness’ of a large circular red brick wall under construction around the memorial. Indeed, the shocking bright red stonework is glaring in comparison to the cool white cenotaph itself.
Rest assured, the ugly red construction will soon be clad in magnificent white Portland stone, the same type of stone used at The National Memorial Arboretum, the new London Stock Exchange, at BBC Broadcasting House and some of the greatest buildings in London including St Paul’s Cathedral. Now this prestigious stone is to be used to complete the restoration of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s original 1926 design which itself was made from Portland stone
Portland stone formed at the end of the Jurassic period, around 145 million years ago when what is now Portland in Dorset was much closer to the equator than it is today. The Island’s stones are known to have been worked for nearly 1,000 years, and used on local projects such as Rufus Castle 11th century, Exeter Cathedral 14th century and Portland Castle 1540s.
North West restoration company Maysand are currently engaged in revamping the Preston landmark as part of a £835,600 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund. They will be using the fine monumental and architectural Portland stone as outer cladding covering the brick inner foundation and retaining walls around the cenotaph site.
The restoration is well under way and on schedule to be completed ready for this year’s Remembrance Day.
Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “Preston’s War Memorial stands as a moving reminder of the great loss of life during conflicts. We are really proud to be one of the facilitators of this project that will not only see the memorial restored but also ensure the continued legacy of remembrance for future generations.”
The Memorial restoration scheme was designed by Landscape Projects and Research Design Architecture Ltd.