Preston’s recently restored Cenotaph has been offered extra protection by being moved to become a grade I listed monument.Advertisement
The war memorial is a poignant reminder of all the lives lost in conflict protecting the freedom of our city and country.
Historic England have been reviewing 2,500 war memorials across the country and Preston’s is one to receive the additional listing, it was originally declared grade II listed in 1991.
Roger Bowdler from Historic England said: “Important as it was for wearing down the enemy, the battle of the Somme demanded a terrible price in lives lost from across the land. Preston lost many men during the First World War, including soldiers of the Preston Pals – the men who signed up as friends, then fought and died together, many on the first day of the Somme.
“Preston War Memorial, designed by eminent architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to rise above the heart of the city, commemorates these men and has been promoted to the highest level of recognition – Grade I. It is an important reminder of how the people of Preston paid tribute to those they had lost.”
In 2013 a major restoration project restored the Cenotaph, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.
Read more: Plaque to Preston war hero unveiled under gaze of Cenotaph
Charlie MacKeith, an architect involved in the Preston Remembers project which worked to restore it, said: “Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the memorial’s designer, spent 7 years working with local communities to create a fitting memorial to reflect the city’s anguish.
“Working with the people of Preston, the current project team restoring the memorial learnt that the famous red telephone box would not have happened without his work for Preston. Every one of his surviving red boxes is listed, making him the most honoured architect in Britain.
“It’s really fitting that the war memorial that led to the telephone box has been upgraded to Grade I, the highest possible grade. It has been a privilege to have been part of this project.”
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Heritage Lottery Fund money was used to restore the Cenotaph along with funds from Preston City Council.
Deputy leader of the city council councillor John Swindells said: “Preston lost some 2,000 men in the First World War, and our exceptional war memorial is among the most ambitious to be found in provincial England, both in scale and in sophistication.
“Following the ambitious restoration project in 2013, I’m delighted the Cenotaph has received recognition by way of this Grade I listing.
“On behalf of the council and the people of Preston, I would like to thank Historic England and also the Heritage Lottery Fund who made the restoration project possible.”
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