War Memorials Trust

Listing in England

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) is responsible for managing England's Statutory List, the National Heritage List for England. War Memorials Trust works actively to submit listing applications to protect war memorials in England and this page outlines current initiatives, how War Memorials Trust engages and what you can do to get your local war memorial(s) listed.  


The War Memorials Listing Project

In November 2013 Historic England announced an ambitious aim to list an additional 2,500 traditional freestanding war memorials during the First World War centenary period. At that time there was believed to be around 1,300 memorials protected through statutory listing with a presumption in favour of listing war memorials. Historic England felt the centenary is the perfect time to ensure that war memorials are more substantially represented on the list and are encouraging applications as part of the activity around the First World War Memorials Programme. 

When making the announcement Culture Secretary Maria Miller stated: “War memorials are a precious part of our heritage that keeps alive the ultimate sacrifice that so many made. It is absolutely right that we cherish and protect them, and I welcome English Heritage’s initiative in launching this project”.

Further details of the project, and a list of useful publications, can be found on The War Memorials Listing Project section of the Historic England website.


War Memorials Trust's listing activity

To support this project War Memorials Trust has established a part-time staff post to submit listing applications on behalf of the Trust throughout the centenary period. War Memorials Trust thanks, and acknowledges the support of, The Pilgrim Trust in funding this role.

The post-holder prepares listing applications to submit to Historic England. They also develop materials for volunteers and the public to use to develop and submit their own applications. In addition, they can convert research material submitted by volunteers and the public into listing applications where it is provided. Further details on this can be found below.


How you can get involved in listing war memorials in England

There are three key ways to get involved with listing war memorials

  • Attend a workshop to learn how to produce a war memorial listing application

Civic Voice, as part of the First World War Memorials Programme, is running workshops offering training on how to apply for a war memorial to be listed. Details of workshops, or how to contact them, can be found on the Civic Voice website.

  • Submit a listing application directly to Historic England via their website

Anyone can apply for the listing of a war memorial directly to Historic England. This can be done through the form available on its website. They also have Selection guides which you can read to help you determine if your memorial is eligible.

Historic England has also published a short guide on the Listing of war memorials. This document provides a good starting point for anyone considering applying to List a war memorial. 

As part of the application you will need to provide details of the history, where known, photographs and a description of the memorial. You may find some of War Memorials Trust’s helpsheets of assistance with obtaining information. 

  • Undertake research to submit to War Memorials Trust to support a listing application

War Memorials Trust is happy to receive relevant information from outside sources to support an application for listing. Those wishing for War Memorials Trust to apply on their behalf should first check the status of the memorial on the National Heritage List for England.

Once you have determined that the memorial is not already listed the next stage is to research the history of the memorial. Often the most relevant information relating to this can be found locally. War Memorials Trust has a Researching the history helpsheet which may be of assistance. Any information can be input into the Trust's pro-forma and sent to the charity. Ideally photographs should be supplied in support of any information. If possible these should be uploaded to the War Memorials Online website.

Once War Memorials Trust has received this information we will produce a draft list entry to be submitted to Historic England. Once they have reviewed the submitted document they will undertake a consultation period of 21 days. A report will then be produced and submitted to the Department for Culture Media and Sport before a final decision is made regarding whether the memorial is appropriate to list. War Memorials Trust will keep contributors informed through the process.


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