Landscapes of Remembrance

What is this project about?

Our project is an opportunity to discover more about the way that casualties from World War One were commemorated in the landscape around you. We are all aware of memorials to be found in churches and other public spaces such as schools, squares or cemeteries. Once a year we remember the fallen in November and sometimes stop for a moment to look at the names of those who died.

Remember World War One with this hands on Community Project

As these monuments have become part of our history and the landscape where we live, some people have carefully recorded the people commemorated and listed where we can find them. Now our project is looking to record our memorials to those who died in World War One from the view point of the archaeologist.

Archaeologists look at where buildings or monuments are placed in the landscape around us. They also look at finds, large and small, reading meanings from the style and decoration on something. We want to look at memorials from an archaeologists view:

  • Where is the monument located? Is it in a church or a cemetery, is it near the road, which way is it looking, where can it be viewed from or even has it been moved over the years.
  • What decoration can we see on the monument, is it a cross, does it have interesting things carved into it, is in a particular style (eg Celtic Cross or Art Nouveau).

We will also try find out how people decided on the memorial location and style. To do this we will look for documents in the local archives. For example any monument in a church will have had to have special permission; we can look up the minutes of the committees that granted permission to see what people said.

This will give us a chance to tell the story of our memorials, a story that we will bring up to date by making a film. Our film will tell people about the discoveries that our project makes, but it will also get under the skin of what the memorials in the landscape we live in today mean to us.

Discover the history behind the memorials of the Great WarHow can I get involved?

All you have to do is get in touch with our project leader Jon Kenny and he will tell you more.

You can email Jon at jkenny@yorkat.co.uk or call 01904 663020

What would I do?

Our project will only work if we can build a volunteer team to record memorials in and around York. We will be looking for people to plot where monuments are to be found and to record particular things about them. This will include taking photographs of the monument and any special observations you can see. We will record the words on the monuments, but not specially the names of the fallen. We don’t want to repeat work that others have already done. We are looking for phrases that people used to remember the dead.

If you get involved you will be part of a team doing real and fascinating landscape archaeology work.

What will I learn about?

We will need a team to carry out different tasks, recording monuments or looking for documents. To build up our team we will offer a number of workshops telling you about archaeological recording historical research and photographic methods.

We will take what we discover and use it to tell a story about the memorials in the landscape where we live. We will use our discoveries to create a booklet and a web site. This will tell the world what we discovered as landscape archaeologists and allow us to leave a record of how we went about our work.