WWI Centenary Memorial, Nottingham
As part of its centenary commemorations of WWI, Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils commissioned this new memorial, which brings together the nearly 14,000 names of all Nottinghamshire’s fallen from the Great War in a single roll of honour. The project was won in an open design competition in 2018 and completed in 2019.
The memorial is sited within the existing listed Victoria Embankment Gardens. It has a circular form; a 1.5m high earthwork bund enclosing a central space. The height of the earthwork has been set to create a protected space for reflection, without being isolated. The space is entered through a splayed opening cut into the bund, which connects to an existing route from the Memorial Gate and river embankment.
An inclined ring of slate, which runs around the enclosed space, carries the role of honour. The height and incline of the surface allow good access to view the names for both able and disabled visitors. The circular form allows the role of honour to be accommodated in a relatively compact space, enabling the scale of the 14,000 names to be taken in from a single vantage point as one enters the space.
A 5m high Portland stone column stands at the centre of the circular space. This vertical element provides a marker for the memorial, drawing the eye of visitors from various locations in and around the gardens. The combination of the horizontal ring and vertical pillar create a visually arresting landmark, whilst respecting the scale and character of the garden.
The upper half of the column describes the context and purpose of the memorial. The lower half is perforated with small holes, designed specifically to hold a standard British Legion remembrance poppy, allowing for individual tributes to be made. Bronze poppies designed by Nottingham artist Inge Tong decorate both the column and role of honour.
The outer earthwork is planted with wildflowers including poppies to create a soft, natural edge to the memorial, adding a distinct and poignant quality to the memorial during the summer months.
WWI Centenary Memorial
for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils