Looking After War Memorials
Do you manage or care for a war memorial or a memorial garden? This page provides practical advice on conserving, protecting and maintaining these unique monuments that stand at the heart of almost every community.
This page covers:
- Detailed advice on conserving war memorials and war memorial landscapes
- A link to Civic Voice's video on assessing and recording condition
- Videos on incised inscriptions: condition and legibility, inpainting, gilding, recutting and replacement
- Guidance on structural issues and repairs including two case studies
- Case studies on treating bronze features
Guidance and best practice on the understanding, assessment, planning and implementation of conservation work to war memorials as well as their ongoing maintenance and protection.Learn more
The aim of this updated guidance provides an overview of how to plan projects. It aims to address queries often raised by volunteers, and draws on the experience of public parks and garden restoration projects.Learn more
Assessing and recording condition
Civic Voice have produced a film showing you how to survey the condition of your war memorial:
Sensitive removal of disfiguring and damaging soiling and biological growth is an essential part of maintaining war memorials. Our guidance publication on cleaning sets out good practice for cleaning war memorials, and provides a step-by-step approach to aid decisions on whether cleaning is necessary and the range of techniques available.
This technical advice note describes good practice for cleaning war memorials, outlining a step-by-step approach to aid decisions on whether cleaning is necessary and the range of techniques available.Learn more
This case study describes the methods used to clean the Cheltenham War Memorial, which included hand and steam cleaning.Learn more
Conserving incised inscriptions
Inscriptions are fundamental to the purpose and significance of a war memorial. Given the age of most memorials, perfect preservation of their inscriptions is unlikely, but legibility nevertheless remains a critical consideration when assessing the overall condition of a memorial and establishing the need for any intervention.
Find out more about conserving incised inscriptions on stone war memorials by watching our videos on:
- Condition and legibility
- Conserving incised inscriptions on stone war memorials: Production credits
There is also a case study on the challenges of conserving the inscriptions on the Cheltenham War Memorial:
This case study describes the challenges faced when restoring mortar-filled inscriptions on the Cheltenham War Memorial.Learn more
This technical note describes good practice for diagnosing and understanding the structural problems found in war memorials, with a focus on freestanding masonry and memorials built of concrete.Learn more
This case study describes a conservation project to the Grade-II listed Waterloo Memorial at Bispham Hall. The memorial was in poor condition with deformation caused by ferrous cramps.Learn more
This case study describes the options and chosen solution for the stabilisation of the Civilian War Memorial within Abney Park Cemetery, London.Learn more
Bronze elements are subject to soiling, deterioration and even loss. Three case studies look at surface treatment and replacement of missing bronze elements:
- Surface treatment of the Tottenham War Memorial’s bronze statue of Peace, a laurel-crowned angel
- Surface treatment of the Bootle War Memorial bronze statues and plaques
- Replacing missing bronze parts to the Bootle War Memorial
This case study describes the conservation work carried out to the bronze elements of the First and Second World Wars Memorial in Tottenham which had previously been treated and painted.Learn more
This document describes the treatment undertaken to the surfaces of the bronze statues and plaques on the Grade-II listed Bootle War Memorial.Learn more
This case study describes the treatment undertaken to address missing bronze elements on the Grade-II listed Bootle War Memorial.Learn more
There are a number of different sources of funding for war memorials, particularly during these centenary years of the First World War. These may include bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and your local authority.
For comprehensive information on funding conservation work for war memorials, visit the Grants section of War Memorials Trust website.