Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The best of England's little-known memorials and shrines

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

England's eclectic history means the landscape is littered with hidden memorials that bring character and colour to the areas that surround them, however, without protection, many will be forgotten.

In an attempt to save these secret shrines Historic England asked members of the public to nominate their favourite sites, with a view to giving the best ones protected status.

The public didn't disappoint - hundreds of nominations were sent into the heritage body, including a prostitutes' memorial and a mural remembering a town rebel.

Historic England's 'Immortalised' project, which is looking at the way the country remembers and forgets certain figures, uncovered many tributes that had not previously been recorded.

  • 'Cracker Packers' on a Carr's Table Water Biscuit, Carlisle
Carlisle's 'Cracker Packers' were workers at the former Carr's factory in Caldewgate. Credit: Historic England

The 'Cracker Packers' was the affectionate nickname for workers at the former Carr's factory in Caldewgate. A bronze statue to commemorate the factory's largely female workforce was commissioned by Carlisle City Council and unveiled in March 2018.

At its height Carr's employed 3,000 workers, the majority women, who began work in the factory at the age of just 14.

  • Jarrow Crusaders, County Durham
The Jarrow Crusaders marched from north east England to the Houses of Parliament to deliver a petition. Credit: Historic England

The bronze statue commemorates the 200 shipyard workers who marched from Jarrow to the Houses of Parliament in 1936.

They carried a petition requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town following the closure of its main employer, Palmer's shipyard, in 1934.

Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin refused to meet the Jarrow Crusaders but the march was remembered as a defining moment of the 1930s.

  • Crossbones Graveyard, memorial to prostitutes and paupers, Southwark
Crossbones Graveyard is home to around 15,000 paupers and prostitutes bodies. Credit: Historic England

Those who have been ostracised by society are often forgotten, however a memorial in Southwark means the paupers and prostitutes buried there can be remembered.

By the time it closed in 1853 Crossbones Graveyard was believed to contain 15,000 bodies.

  • 'The Xylophone Man', Nottingham City Centre
The Xylophone Man remembers Frank Robinson who played the instrument in Nottingham. Credit: Historic England

An engraved plaque commemorates Frank Robinson, also known as 'The Xylophone Man', who for years played the instrument in Nottingham's city centre.

The memorial was paid for by public donations after Frank died in 2004 at the age of 73.

Unveiled in 2005, the plaque reads: "He played his Xylophone here for fifteen years, bringing a smile to the faces of the people of Nottingham".

  • Warren James mural, The Fountain Inn, Parkend, Gloucestershire
Warren James, the rebel of Gloucestershire, lead a group of 3,000 in tearing down fences enclosing areas of forest. Credit: Historic England

In 1808, when it was ordered forests be enclosed to satisfy demand for timber, Warren James lead a group of 3,000 rebels in revolt against the new rule.

They tore down around 60 miles of fencing in an attempt to retake the forests.

James was sentenced to death for the audacious move but was instead deported to Tasmania. He was pardoned five years later but was unable to return to England and died in 1841.

Some of those nominated have been given listed protection, including the gravestone of a woman who founded a “ragged school” in Bristol and a peace memorial commissioned by a woman to mark the end of the First World War and the safe return of those who survived.