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Why Norfolk is leading the way in remembering our war heroes

PUBLISHED: 11:11 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 March 2020

Aylsham war memorial, one of the monuments listed after requests to Historic England. Pic: Archant

Aylsham war memorial, one of the monuments listed after requests to Historic England. Pic: Archant

More requests have come from Norfolk than anywhere else in the country outside London since 2016 for buildings and sites to be listed.

Only London made more applications - totalling 688.

The information came using data obtained through Freedom of Information requests, analysing all applications made to Historic England for sites and buildings to be protected through the listing system between 2016 and 2019.

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Many of the war memorials were listed for preservation as part of Historic England's project to commemorate the First World War centenary.

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Listing is not a preservation order but it ensures a structure's essential character and interest is maintained, and listed building consent via the planning system is needed for any alterations going forward. So essentially, it safeguards its future.

The memorials to receive listing include those at Kelling, near Holt, the pillbox at Bromholm Priory, Bacton, Wicklewood, Wretham, Knapton, Aylsham, Burnham Thorpe and Caistor St Edmund.

The pillbox at Bromholm Priory is a 'Type 22', hexagonal in shape with walls around 30-60cm thick with rifle loops in five of the six walls and made from flint and red brick as camouflage, salvaged from the nearby priory. Given the proximity of Bromholm Priory to the coast, it was heavily fortified during the Second World War with a gun emplacement built into the ruin of the north transept.

Suffolk made 275 requests for buildings to be listed and also saw 15 memorials granted the status.

War memorials in England take a wide variety of forms and commemorate centuries of conflicts, though memorials to conflicts and the soldiers who fought in them only started to be commonplace after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which ended the Napoleonic Wars.

The aftermath of the First World War produced significantly more memorials than any other single conflict; thus this list is dominated by First World War memorials, many of which were later re-dedicated or added to reflect losses from the Second World War.

The research was compiled by the firm Holiday Cottages.co.uk

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