Collections Home



Make a comment

Remembrance / Memorials

Some memorials. Tyburn Walk, from the Old Bailey to Marble Arch in London, commemorates the execution of 105 Catholic martyrs on Tyburn gallows in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Dwindling numbers, and exasperation from police, Transport for London and the shopkeepers of Oxford Street make it likely that the Tyburn Walk will soon be history. The historian of London, John Stow, is remembered every 5 April, the day he died in 1605, when the Lord Mayor of London or the Alderman of Aldgate Ward replaces the quill pen on his memorial in St Andrew Undershaft. Since 1946 the famous clown, Joseph Grimaldi who died in 1837, has been honoured on the first Sunday in February in Holy Trinity, Dalston, north London, by an unusual congregation almost entirely composed of clowns. In Cucklet Delph the people of Eyam remember the vicar and villagers who made heroic sacrifices during the great plague of 1665 while Meriden, the ‘centre of England’, draws cyclists from all over the country to a lycra-clad service in honour of cyclists who died in the two World Wars. Many schools, and other bodies, observe a Founder’s Day. The Royal Stuart Society commemorates King Charles I on the last Sunday in January at his fine equestrian statue at the north end of Whitehall by Trafalgar Square. St Swithun was a ninth century bishop of Winchester who became patron saint of the Cathedral which holds a service by his grave on 15 July, his feast day. He is also celebrated as a weather forecaster – so we know for certain that in 1984 it was fine until 24 August. In the middle of July the Padley Chapel Ceremony in Derbyshire is for three catholic priests who were hanged, drawn and quartered in 1588. 49 ‘unmarried’ parishioners are remembered all the time in Abbots Ann in Hampshire as ‘Virgin’s Crowns’ (also known as Virgin’s Crants or Maiden’s Garlands) hang high on the walls of the parish church. They were carried there before the coffin of parishioners of ‘unblemished character’. Made of wooden hoops and parchment, they hang in the church until they disintegrate - the earliest has been in place since 1740, the latest since 1973. The collection includes garlands for 13 young men and boys. There are examples in several other churches around the country, especially in Derbyshire. The Sir John Cass Foundation in London remembers their founder by a splendid service and the wearing of red feathers. Legend has it that when he was writing his will enabling the foundation to be set up he suffered a massive brain haemorrhage and blood stained his quill pen. Barrow-in-Furness honours family forebears by a spectacular display on Easter Sunday while, for the same purpose, Cemetery Sundays are quite common in Catholic Ireland. Finally, old soldiers are off to the Cenotaph, poppies cover the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey and poppy wreaths surround the Cenotaph after the morning parade in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday...