War Memorials Trust

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Town or City: Royston
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
WMT Reference Number: WM1275

Value of grant: £1500.00
Type of memorial: Freestanding
Type of work: Surveys
Grant scheme: WMT Grant Scheme
Year: 2006

UKNIWM reference number: 62

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Royston war memorial © WMT, 2008The Grade II listed memorial in the town of Royston in the north of Hertfordshire stands set back from the pavement in a rectangular space. The main feature of the memorial, which is at the back of this space, is a classical aedicule, or shrine, flanked by inscribed Portland stone plaques listing the names, ranks and decorations of the World War I fallen. This forms the centrepiece of a brick and flint wall with Portland stone coping which extends to either side of the aedicule and then turns at right angles to form three side of a rectangle. The return walls have semi-circular recesses in them. Above the aedicule is a pediment with a cross at the apex and within it a cartouche with a shallow relief carving of the Hertfordshire hart between two swags. Across the entablature are the dates 1914 and 1918 and the inscription In Proud Memory. Between the pilasters of the aedicule is a relief sculpture in Portland stone of a group of historic military figures, including a bowman of Agincourt, a knight in armour, a Cromwellian Ironside and a soldier of the Napoleonic Wars. In front of these stone figures is a freestanding bronze statue of a World War I infantryman depicted standing on rough ground. To his right on this ground is a sculpture of the Royston crow. The plinth on which the soldier stands is inscribed with the names of the men who fell in World War II, and on a paving stone in front of it is the dedication. The forecourt is paved with York stone. The memorial stands on Melbourn Street outside the Priory memorial gardens.

Royston war memorial © WMT, 2008The memorial has received multiple grants and the summary details of this record relate to the most recent grant.

In 2001/2 English Heritage gave a grant of £5,000 towards work to repair and re-built the low walls dividing the environs of the memorial from the pavement, to repair and re-point with lime mortar the back wall of the memorial, including the aedicule, to repair the cross, making good a previous failed repair, to repair the brick and stone of the main wall of the rear elevation and install a damp course and drainage, to replace eroded paving slabs and brick risers on the steps and to re-bed and re-point slabs and to clean the memorial using the DOFF steam cleaning system.

In 2006/7 English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation gave a grant of £5,698 towards work to take up the York stone paving in front of the memorial, to set it on to a new base and re-lay it using the original stones where possible.

In 2017 a grant of £1,500 was offered through the War Memorials Trust Grants Scheme towards a condition survey and report with recommendations to inform necessary conservation and repair works which was undertaken by a conservation-accredited professional.

Royston war memorial ©  Royston TC, 2017The dedication on the memorial reads

This memorial is erected to the glory of God
and in proud and grateful memory of the men of
who at the call of duty left all that was
dear to them to fight for king and country
They endured hardship faced danger suffered
pain and by the sacrifice of their lives
brought victory peace and freedom to their
native land
Greater love hath no man than this

The memorial was built in 1920 by P. Morley Horder. The stonework was by W. Whitehead of Royston and the bronze figures by W.B. Fagan and Mr Clemens of Clapton. It was originally unveiled on 26th March 1922 by Lt Col Eric Phillips, along with David Bevan, chairman of the memorial committee and Walter Titchmarsh, chairman of the Royston Urban Council. The service and the dedication were led by Rev Joseph Harrison, the vicar of Royston, and prayers were led by Rev R W Jackson of the Royston Congregational Church.

Further information

War Memorials Trust reference WM1275
UK National Inventory of War Memorials: 62

Heritage Gateway listing information
W B Fagan
sculpted the bronze figure

If you have a concern about this memorial please contact the Trust on conservation@warmemorials.org

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