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War Memorial

Ulverston’s war memorial which commemorates those who dies from Ulverston during the first and Second World War stands at the top of Market Street. It is a grade II listed structure and was erected after the end of the First World War.

The memorial was designed by Professor W G Collingwood. and the design executed by John Stubbs and Son of Liverpool. It was unveiled in 1921.

It is not clear from the available records when it was decided to appoint Professor Collingwood to design the war memorial. The professor was living in Coniston at this time and was a contemporary of and assistant to John Ruskin. He designed a number of war memorials across the country. The memorial is made of Sandstone Ashlar from Birchover quarries in Derbyshire.

Records from the former Ulverston Urban District Council show that its General Purposes Committee discussed the question of a war memorial, where it should be sited and the form it should take.

The records also show that this was debated at great length and public meetings were held. A full town meeting was called in February 1919 to discuss this issue. It was suggested that a more appropriate memorial could be a number of projects including:

a) the debt paid off the recently constructed Coronation Hall b) a new hospital c) new swimming baths or d) a Library. It was eventually decided to have a war memorial and site it at Market Place in the centre of Ulverston, and to consider further an additional major public project.

It In 1974 the Ulverston Urban District Council was abolished. South Lakeland District Council was formed, and Ulverston became a smaller town (parish) council.

A letter exists from the town clerk dated 6 May 1976 to SLDC asking if the council had a file containing all of the records of the memorial including plans. Unfortunately the district council was not able to locate any plans or original correspondence from that time.

Records from the 1970’s do indicate that there was some vandalism during this time, which may account for the disappearance of the finials and crockets.

In March 1976 records show that it was agreed that the memorial would be cleaned. To this end it was sand blasted and then silicone was sprayed over it. It was noted at the time that there was erosion to the stonework. It was envisaged in the correspondence that the silicone treatment could last for 15 years. The funding for this work was circa £120.00 and would have been found from the precept. Other than some work to clean the brass plaque, it can be seen from the attached images that the sandstone is weathering badly and there is evidence of damage to the stone.

In 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the commencement of the first world war, Ulverston Town Council restored the war memorial with a grant from the war memorials trust together with private donations. The finials have been replaced. The war memorial is regularly cleaned using a sensitive doff system to preserve the sandstone.

The memorial is made of Sandstone Ashlar; it is a square plan on a stepped base with thin diagonal buttresses. Above inscribed bronze plaques on each face are crocketed gables with blind tracery decoration. The cross head is carried on a column of clustered shafts with a foliated capital.

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Email: admin@ulverstoncouncil.org.uk

Ulverston Town Council Office
County Square
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 7LZ