|HCC Site ID.||1982||Parish:||Ringwood|
|Access:||Public access||Ownership:||Ringwood Town Council|
After WW1, at Ringwood, a War Memorial Committee was set up to raise money by public subscription for a war memorial garden. During 1920 and 1921 around £450 was donated . In January 1920, the Hon. Secretary of the Committee wrote to the Council enquiring, if the Committee purchased 1.5 acres of Greyfriars Paddock, and laid out and erected a war memorial there, would the Council be willing to take over the site and arrange for its supervision and maintenance. The Council unanimously agreed . On 31st May 1921, the War Memorial Committee again approached the Council stating that insufficient money had been raised, and would the Council take over the running of the garden, erect new gates and plant trees as shown in the plans. Again the Council agreed. The memorial cross was Sir Reginald Blomfield’s standard design, used by many councils up and down the country. It was unveiled on 30 June 1921 by Major General Sir George Aston KCB. At a meeting on the 7TH March 1922, the Memorial Ground deed of Covenant and the remaining balance of £14.18s 9d from the War Memorial Committee, was conveyed to the Council. At the same meeting Major J D Mills offered a dozen Azaleas to be planted in the Ground, which were accepted by the Council on 18th April 1922. A caretaker for the Ground was appointed on 2nd May and a tender , by J.J. Armfield & Co. Ltd, to erect iron railings around the War Memorial and paint them dark green, was approved.
The railings were taken during WW2. After the war, the garden was refurbished, names from WW2 were added to the memorial, and posts and chains were erected around the memorial base . In 2001, block paved paths were laid voluntarily by Elliott Brothers Ltd . Some five years later, over £6,500 was spent on repairs to the memorial and an extension to the existing footpath to give easier access.
The garden is on a triangular ‘dog-leg’ plot between Christchurch and Mansfield Roads, and is enclosed on 3 sides by mainly beech hedges with a brick wall and railings fronting Christchurch Road. Road widening of the B3347 Mansfield Road has encroached on the south eastern boundary and the trees that were planted on this boundary have been replaced by hedges . A path encircles the cross and has links to the two entrances. Posts and chains around the cross remain. On ceremonial occasions the chain is unfastened and a short path gives access to the front of the cross for the laying of wreaths. The garden is mainly laid to grass with some specimen trees and 5 benches, a recent one being very decorative. Near the new bench, a small herbaceous bed has been planted. The girth of the trees suggests that most were planted when the garden was laid out, which include a fine copper beech and two limes. The garden is well maintained and provides a quiet space at the junction of two busy roads.
HGT Research: September 2015
Hampshire Record Office
130A013 (not officially catalogued 9/9/2015)
67M99/PX2 Minutes 6 January 1920
67M99/PX2 Minutes 31 May 1921
67M99/PX3 Minutes 7 March, 18 April 1922, 2 May & 1 August 1922
OS maps 1940 & 2015
Plaque on outside wall of the garden
www.ringwood.ukhome.net/News_and_Weather/2006/February/Ringwood_town_War_Memorial_Gardens.html [accessed 9/9/2015]
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