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War memorial given Grade I listing

Spalding's renowned war memorial in Ayscoughfee Hall Gardens has been upgraded from a Grade II to a Grade I protected listing.

War memorial

The memorial is one of 44 First World War memorials designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens - who is famous for the Whitehall Cenotaph.

Historic England made the announcement on Friday, just in time for the Remembrance Service held at Ayscoughfee Hall gardens on Sunday.

Seven of Lutyens' memorials are now Grade I listed - representing half of the total number of all Grade I war memorials in England.

Lutyens (1869-1944) is known as architect of the Whitehall Cenotaph and the war cemeteries of the Western Front and designed 44 war memorials for towns and villages all over England.

Spalding's war memorial commemorates 224 lives lost during the First World War.

Lutyens' tranquil Tuscan pavilion design was chosen above five others, and includes a Stone of Remembrance.

Spalding's MP Francis McLaren was killed in a flying accident on August 30, 1917 and it was his wife Barbara who proposed the memorial. It was unveiled on June 8, 1922.

Cllr Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for community, said: "The war memorial provides a lasting legacy for those who sacrificed so much.

"We're delighted that it has secured Grade I listing meaning that it is better protected and will continue to serve as a poignant reminder for generations to come."

Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England, said: "Lutyens was a key figure in determining how the dead and missing should be commemorated.

"His designs are admired for the universality of their message. His pure architectural forms are mute symbols of grief, the simple inscriptions weighted with sorrow.

"These are enduring memorials, which show the power of classical architecture to convey meaning and dignity."

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