COMMONWEALTH AIR FORCES MEMORIAL

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II*
List Entry Number:
1376599
Date first listed:
25-Sep-1998
Statutory Address:
COMMONWEALTH AIR FORCES MEMORIAL, COOPERS HILL, EGHAM

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
COMMONWEALTH AIR FORCES MEMORIAL, COOPERS HILL, EGHAM

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Surrey
District:
Runnymede (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 99837 71942

Summary

War memorial, 1953 by Edward Maufe.

History

Of historical interest as a war memorial and an impressive and beautifully detailed monument to the fallen, occupying a prominent position on Coopers Hill, a ridge in Runnymede, overlooking the River Thames. The memorial is inscribed with the names of 20,456 men and women of the Allied Air Forces who lost their lives during the Second World War and have no known grave. The memorial was the winner of the RIBA South Eastern regions bronze medal for the best building of 1946-53.

Magna Carta, which means ‘Great Charter’, was sealed at Runnymede on 15th June 1215. This was an agreement between King John and his barons and clergy which, for the first time, made the monarch subject to the laws of the land. It also gave free men the right to justice and a fair trial. Over the subsequent 800 years it has influenced many constitutional documents including the United States’ Bill of Rights.

Runnymede today is a memorial landscape to the on-going struggle for democracy and liberty.

Details

War memorial. 1953. Edward Maufe. Portland stone with low pitched slated roof with eaves to single storey enclosures and roofs not visible to centrepieces. Quadrangular plan with quadrant wings extending at rear to left and right. Central entrance through tall, single-storey centrepiece with three capital-less arches, fully glazed in bronze frames, each with three pairs of bronze lions overlaid in relief on the glazing. Doors originally made for the New York Trade Fair, but adapted and presented to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for inclusion at the Air Forces memorial by the Mond Nickel Company. Moulded cornice with words `PER ARDVA AD ASTRA' inscribed on frieze. Eagle with extended wings and crown over to parapet. Low flanking wings projecting on either side with 6-pane windows, and extending to enclose courtyard; their outer walls articulated by narrow vertical strip windows. Inside the single storey wings form an open cloister, with round-headed arches on Ionic columns with simplified capitals. Centrepiece opposite entrance (covered for repairs at time of visit) is taller with a central round-headed arch, much plain walling and five small square windows beneath moulded cornice. Crown finial to roof. Cloisters with coffered, painted ceilings decorated with coats of arms. The engraved north window, and the painted ceilings of the shrine and outlooks are by the artist John Hutton. The rear walls have moulded Portland stone seats with shell decoration, one to each strip window. Window jambs and wall panels carry inscribed names of the fallen. This treatment continues in the quadrant wings.

Formerly listed as the Royal Air Force Memorial.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on the 12/06/2015

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 5 December 2016.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
470605
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Websites
War Memorials Online, accessed 05/12/2016 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/100848
War Memorials Register, accessed 05/12/2016 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/23270

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 17 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/02016/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs M.A.C. Ball. Source Historic England Archive
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