Century old Grade II listed memorial gates reinstalled
- Credit: Stowmarket Town Council
A pair of 100-year-old gates hung to remember those who died in First World I have been reinstalled in a Suffolk town after undergoing a much needed restoration.
The Stowmarket War Memorial Gates at the entrance to the Recreation Ground were removed for specialist repair and refurbishment in May.
The work was carried out by Dorothea Restorations in line with specialist guidance published by Historic England and the War Memorials Trust.
Dorothea Restorations are the UK’s leading specialist in conservation of architectural metalwork, and Stowmarket Town Council described them as having handled this important piece of the town’s history "with great care and respect".
As well as the gates themselves, the stonework around them has been fully restored to ensure the future of the Grade II listed structure.
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The War Memorials Trust provided a grant of £9,480 which was used to cover half of the cost of the restoration.
The listed gates play an important role in Stowmarket's history.
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The land itself came into public ownership at the end of the First World War when local people raised a subscription to buy the land, then known as Kings Meadow, in memory of those whose lives had been lost.
A Memorial Committee was formed to collect the money to buy the meadow, and in May 1920 the committee announced that £1,800 was raised to purchase the land.
A further £1,100 had been donated to the committee for them to commission some memorial gates and a memorial shelter.
Part of the money raised was then used to commission the gates which were created by a Wolverhampton company, Bayliss, Jones & Bayliss.
The memorial gates in Stowmarket are hammered wrought iron with the town’s coat of arms on each side of the gates.
It's believed that around five thousand people came to Stowmarket to see the long awaited unveiling of the gates on February 13, 1921.
Karl Daniels, communities & partnerships manager, said, “The condition of the gates had been of concern for some time, however the support of the War Memorials Trust during the Stowmarket War Memorial Gates historic centurion year is hugely appreciated.”