War Memorials Trust

Listing in England

Historic England is responsible for managing England's Statutory List, the National Heritage List for England and provides guidance on how to list and what will be considered. The public can contribute to the National Heritage List for England through the Enrich the List scheme which enables people to add photographs and information alongside the statutory description. 

How you can apply to list a war memorial in England?  

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. The publication on Commemorative Structures is most relevant for war memorials. 

For an application to be accepted via the online form the war memorial needs to be at risk of demolition or major alteration, be one of Historic England’s current strategic listing priorities, or have very strong potential for inclusion on the National Heritage List for England. Information about Historic England’s current listing priorities is available on their website.

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 useful for researching the war memorial.

During the centenary of World War I Historic England published a short guide, Listing war memorials in England. This document provides a good starting point for anyone considering an application to list a war memorial.


The War Memorials Listing Project, 2014-2018

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 applications were encouraged 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”.

To support the project War Memorials Trust, thanks to the financial support of The Pilgrim Trust, created a part-time staff post to submit listing applications on behalf of the Trust. The role enabled the charity to submit nearly 700 listing applications to Historic England compiled either directly or using information provided by volunteers. The post-holder also developed materials for volunteers and the public to use to prepare and submit their own applications. This material was shared with Civic Voice who, as part of the First World War Memorials Programme, ran workshops for the public to train them in preparing their own listing applications.

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. In total, the Project listed/upgraded 2,645 war memorials of which,

  • 21 were Grade I
  • 99 were Grade II*
  • 2,519 were Grade II
  • 6 were Registered war memorial Parks: Gheluvelt Park, Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, Promenade de Verdun, Ilkley Memorial Garden, Highbridge Garden of Remembrance and Rickerby Park

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