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PROJECTS

We were commissioned to design a village memorial in this charming Surrey village set within the grounds of the Church of St Paul, designed by Sir Herbert Baker and build in 1933. It is a masterpiece of modern church building in Portland stone and flint with a charming Arts and Crafts interior. Baker incorporated a remarkable hypocaust system within the walls to maintain pleasant interior temperatures in winter. Several projects were developed and the church committee chose the version with a central memorial stone sitting on axis below the church tower. The landscape element of the memorial was designed to create a stronger link between the church and the village.

‘‘The Memorial, set in its own space at the foot of the church tower, is much admired and a frequent stopover for walkers and visitors to read the several inscriptions.’’

Geoffrey King, Chairman, The Woldingham Village Memorial Trust

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The Woldingham Village Memorial

VILLAGE MEMORIAL, WOLDINGHAM  
SURREY, UK

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The design consists of a central stone block set in a granite sett and stone paved area central beneath the Herbert Baker church. It is surrounded by a semi-enclosed landscape formed in topiary yew with stone urns set on plinths that convey the idea of a memorial when viewed from a distance.

‘Working in the context of a Herbert Baker masterpiece required reflection on his enormous contribution to the making of war memorials after the First World War.’

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THE DETAILS

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The little-known church by Baker is a masterpiece modern church building with its authentic traditional construction and an homage to medieval church building in England. Its beautifully built details bear testimony to another kind of modernism that co-existed with the concrete, steel and glass movement that would soon dominate architectural production- including churches. Our use of Portland stone for the memorial plinth, benches and the edging for the paving reflect the window details in Baker’s church and add a note of continuity to the overall composition of church, memorial and landscaping.