Preston Cenotaph Re-Designated to Grade 1 Listed
Preston City Council are delighted to announce Historic England have re-designated Preston Cenotaph war memorial to Grade I listed status.
As part of its wider programme of work on war memorials to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, Historic England is newly listing or upgrading 2,500 war memorials.
Attracting considerable public interest, War memorials possess remarkable levels of design interest, in terms of architectural or sculptural conception.
Councillor John Swindells, Deputy Leader of Preston City Council, 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.”
Roger Bowdler of Historic England, added: “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.”
Charlie MacKeith was the architect involved in the 2013 Heritage Lottery supported Preston Remembers project to restore the Cenotaph.
Charlie 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.”