Hunt for the region’s forgotten memorials

The Grace Darling memorial at Bamburgh.
The Grace Darling memorial at Bamburgh.

The North East is home to murals and shrines, statues and inscriptions on benches and trees.

Some are well-known, like the Grace Darling memorial in the churchyard at Bamburgh (pictured above), but, as part of a nationwide call-out, Historic England is asking people in the North East to share their knowledge of secret, unknown and forgotten memorials.

The public body wants photographs and information about the region’s lesser-known memorials and those that are well-loved by small groups or communities but unknown nationally, as well as rituals and activities attached to them. Visit www.historicengland.org.uk/immortalised
The public’s stories and pictures will be recorded to form part of an exhibition in the autumn.

The best examples of community memorials may be listed by Historic England as part of its efforts to protect and champion what’s special in the historic environment.

The hunt is part of Immortalised, a season launched on Monday by Historic England to help people explore the country’s memorial landscape – who is reflected, who is missing, and why. It will include events, an exhibition, a debate and a design competition.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “We are creatures of memory, and every generation has commemorated people in the built environment. Their stories may involve episodes of heroism or generosity and be inspirational or they may involve episodes which are shameful by today’s standards. They all tell us something about the lives of our ancestors. This is a terrifically important subject and that’s why we have launched the Immortalised season.

“One of Historic England’s most important jobs is to work with the public to identify and record information about what’s embedded in our streets, squares and parks, and to share it with others to enable current and future generations to understand and value their local historic environment. Exploring the stories and histories of less well-known people and groups is an important part of this, and that’s what today’s call out to the public in the North East is all about.”