War memorials are important features of our cities, towns and villages. In the aftermath of the war many communities, families and individuals also chose to dedicate gardens, parks, playing fields and other open spaces as living and useful memorials or peace tributes.
One hundred years on from the First World War, many communities are interested in conserving their war memorials. The memorials are very diverse. This guidance is intended for everyone interested in the care and upkeep of the gardens or setting of war memorials, and also parks and green spaces dedicated as memorials.
This guidance focuses on two main types of war memorial landscapes:
- Gardens and the setting of war memorials
- The diverse range of gardens, parks, and other designed landscapes dedicated as war memorials and often simplified in the text as ‘parks and green spaces’
Recreation grounds and playing fields may be laid out as simple sites but many do include features like memorial gates, a pavilion, a bench and changing rooms, or trees planted in memory of individual servicemen. Other features like avenues, woodlands, and open countryside may also be dedicated as war memorials.
The shared aim for all memorial landscapes projects is to ensure the dedication is honoured and conserved. The guidance provides an overview of how to plan projects. It aims to address queries often raised by volunteers, and draws on the experience of public parks and garden restoration projects.
It is one of two Historic England publications on the care of war memorials. Conservation, Repair and Management of War Memorials provides guidance on the assessment, planning and implementation of conservation work and advice on their on-going maintenance and protection. It also provides advice on stone, metal, timber, and brick memorials and inscriptions.