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07/03/2018

Search for England’s forgotten memorials

Words: Laura Edgar
Albert Memorial is a well know memorial in England / iStock-879086592

Historic England has launched ‘Immortalised’ – a project asking the public to share its knowledge of local monuments, street shrines and community tributes in public places.

The public body wants people to share photographs and information about lesser-known memorials, including those that are well loved by small groups or communities that are unknown nationally.

Additionally, it wants to know about rituals and activities attached to memorials.

Well-known rituals include flowers left at the Alan Turing statue in Manchester on his birthday and the annual service on the pavement beneath Oliver Cromwell’s statue in Westminster. Pero’s Bridge is a memorial in Bristol. It is a pedestrian footbridge that spans the floating harbour, named in honour of a slave called Pero Jones.

The public’s stories and pictures will be recorded to form part of an exhibition in the autumn. Historic England said it may list best examples of community memorials as part of its efforts to protect and champion what is special about the historic environment.

‘Immortalised’ was launched this week (5 March). It aims to help people to explore England’s memorial landscape – “who is reflected, who is missing, and why”. It includes events, a debate and design competition, as well as the exhibition.

Recently, there has been much talk about memorials, including the absence of representations of women and people of colour from statues in cities.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive at Historic England, said: “One of Historic England’s most important jobs is to work with the public to identify and record information about what’s embedded in our streets, squares and parks, and to share it with others to enable current and future generations to understand and value their local historic environment. Exploring the stories and histories of less well-known people and groups is an important part of this, and that’s what the call-out to the public is all about.”

More information about the season can be found on Historic England’s website.

Image credit | iStock

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