DescriptionA little known gem amongst Lutyens’s work, the commission arose at the request of Barbara McLaren, the neice of Gertrude Jekyll, whose husband Francis was the local MP and who died in a plane accident in 1917.
The original proposal was scaled down from a much grander affair that included a cloister and the Stone of Remembrance sitting in the middle of a circular pond, due to lack of funds. The building was important in prefiguring the shelters that Lutyens was to design for the cemeteries on the Western Front.
Unveiled on 8 June 1922 by General Sir Ian Hamilton GCB, GCMG, DSO, TD. (Contributor: Tim Skelton) The gardens of the house [AYSCOUGHFEE HALL], with high walls and stone gatepiers, were laid out c. 1730, probably by William Sands. They should be better known. A castellated tower was replaced by Lutyens’s excellent WAR MEMORIAL of c. 1925, a classical loggia with Tuscan Doric arcade and pantile roof. In front, a remembrance stone and a rectangular pool, in the manner of a formal Italian garden. (Pevsner et al, 1989, p.676)
DESCRIPTION: The war memorial garden lies in the southern area of the gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall. The Hall is Grade I-listed; the registered gardens, Grade II.
At the head of the memorial garden is the Temple of Remembrance, a brick pavilion with three Tuscan stone arches to the front and a single arch to each side; it has a solid rear wall. The roof is hipped, and clad in red pantiles. The floor has panels of red herringbone brickwork with stone surrounds. On the rear wall are two painted stone flags – the Union Flag (left) and White Ensign (right). The tops of the flagpoles are ornamented with pinnacles and encircled by laurel wreaths. The bases of the flagpoles are currently (2015) missing; these should rise from the shallow corbels set against the wall for that purpose. Three panels are set on the inner rear wall: the central one with the dedication and names added in 2015, the outer panels with the names of the fallen in the First World War.
The principal dedication incised on the central panel, between the two flags, reads IN LOVE AND HONOUR/ OF THOSE WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ IN/ THE YEARS OF WAR/ MCMXIV – MCMXIX/ THIS MEMORIAL IS RAISED/ IN THEIR HOME/ BY THE MEN AND WOMEN/ OF/ SPALDING. This panel also bears names added in 2015. The 224 names originally inscribed on the memorial are listed on the two panels either side of the flags. Around the frieze inside the pavilion is carved ETERNAL REST GRANT TO THEM O LORD AND LET LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE UPON THEM.
In front of the pavilion, raised on a platform of three steps, stands a Stone of Remembrance (designed by Lutyens for the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission). The inscription on the north face reads THEIR NAME LIVETH/ FOR EVERMORE with 1914/ 1918 to the left and 1939/ 1945 to the right.
Extending from the Stone of Remembrance, and at a slightly lower level, is the axial canal approached by stone steps. The canal, which appears on the John Grundy map of 1732, was re-worked by Lutyens to act as a reflecting pool for the memorial with ashlar side walls and a flagged surround. Three low but elaborate stone fountains stand along the length of the canal; photographic evidence suggests these are a later installation. Square beds at the south-west and south-east corners of the canal contain mature yews, and the garden is surrounded by mature yew hedging.
Asphalt paths that lead around the garden perimeter, and iron-work arches of circa 1994, which lead through the eastern yew hedge to the contemporary Peace Garden beyond, are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing. (Historic England, list entry 1064002)
BibliographyPevsner N, Harris J & Antram N (1989) Lincolnshire. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Historic England.Spalding War Memorial. [Online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1064002
Also Cited InGliddon, G. and Skelton, T.J. (2008) Lutyens and the Great War. London: Frances Lincoln.