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Gatepiers, overthrows and railings at south-west and south entrances to Ashton-under-Lyne Memorial Gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in St Peter's, Tameside

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4886 / 53°29'19"N

Longitude: -2.0888 / 2°5'19"W

OS Eastings: 394207

OS Northings: 399106

OS Grid: SJ942991

Mapcode National: GBR FXV3.L4

Mapcode Global: WHB9J.WKJX

Entry Name: Gatepiers, overthrows and railings at south-west and south entrances to Ashton-under-Lyne Memorial Gardens

Listing Date: 16 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439973

Location: Tameside, OL6

County: Tameside

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Locality: St Peter's

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Ashton-under-Lyne The Good Shepherd

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

Summary

Gatepiers, railings and overthrows. Erected 1922 by the Borough of Ashton-under-Lyne.

Description

The entrance at the south-western corner of the gardens is set on a radial axis with the war memorial. It comprises a central pair of Portland stone gatepiers, wrought-iron railings and terminal stone piers, arranged on a segmental concave curve. The square gatepiers have heavy moulded cornices and are surmounted by flaming urns symbolising eternal life. The wrought-iron openwork piers that carried the gates (now removed) bear the dates 1914 and 1919 and are capped by similar urn motifs. The elaborate scrolled overthrow is crowned by an escutcheon bearing the Borough arms and has inset lettering reading: MEMORIAL GARDENS. The geometric-pattern railings comprise four panels divided by openwork piers capped with urns; the innermost panels abutting the gatepiers with curved heads.

The southern entrance, on a central axis with the memorial, comprises a pair of gatepiers and an overthrow identical to those at the south-west entrance. The gates have been removed.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England.  Many communities erected their war memorials within existing or newly created public parks and gardens.

Prior to the outbreak of war in 1914, a public garden had been planned by Ashton-under-Lyne Borough Council on a triangular island site to the east of the parish church. The gardens were laid out in 1922 to the design of the Borough Surveyor, John Rowbottom, with the memorial commemorating Ashton’s 1,520 war dead as its focal point. The war memorial, designed by the Ashton architect Percy Howard with sculptures by John Ashton Floyd, was unveiled on 16 September 1922.

Reasons for Listing

The gatepiers, railings and overthrows at the south-west and south entrances to Ashton-under-Lyne Memorial Gardens are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent testament to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: two impressive sets of stone gatepiers with elaborate wrought ironwork, which announce the gardens as a place of remembrance for the community;
* Group value: they are intrinsic to the setting of Ashton-under-Lyne War Memorial, framing the views of the Grade II*-listed monument from the street.

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