John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede

John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede

Erection date: 14/5/1965


This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F. Kennedy, born 29 May 1917, President of the United States, 1961-63, died by an assassin's hand, 22 November 1963.
Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, or oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.
From the inaugural address of President Kennedy, 20 January 1961.

{On the back of the stone:}
Alan Collins, sculptor

Unveiled by the Queen in the presence of many members of the Kennedy family and the PM Harold Macmillan. Videos of the unveiling at British Pathe and more information at Kennedy Memorial Trust.

10ft by 5 ft wide Portland stone slab on a granite base reached after a 20 minute gentle climb on a cobbled, stepped, path. From English Heritage: "The designer, {Jellicoe} wrote that he had based his ideas on John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and that the piece is intended to be seen as a point in a journey through the landscape. Behind the memorial stone is an American scarlet oak, which turns red in November, the month of Kennedy's death. The sequence continues as a paved walk or 'Jacob's ladder' leading to a pair of stone seats designed by Jellicoe set into the hillside at a point where he lets a view through the trees to the river and beyond. The two seats are placed unequally in a relationship Jellicoe calls 'familial' and in one drawing are marked as 'president' and 'consort'."

The flagged path seen in our picture narrows and curves towards a nearby tree (out of shot to the left) but this is not referred to in Jellicoe's text above and we don't understand the significance.

Site: John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede (3 memorials)

SL4, Windsor Road

The two trees are down the bottom of the hill.  You see them as you walk between the JFK memorial and the Magna Carta memorial.

In May 1965 this acre of Crown land was given to the American people in perpetuity under the control and management of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. The Magna Carta connection made Runnymede particularly appropriate for the Kennedy memorial.

But prior to that relatively small gift, this whole hillside was given in 1963 by the local Council to the National Trust.  An American family gave the adjacent meadows to the National Trust in 1929 and we feel the two gifts are probably connected in some way. See Lady Fairhaven for more information.

This memorial was restored following damage caused by a bomb in a 1968 anti-Vietnam protest.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede

Subjects commemorated Information

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Of Irish descent, born in Brookline, Massachusetts. 35th President of the Uni...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede

Created by Information

Alan Collins

Sculptor.  Born Surrey as Alan Rodney Collins. Trained in England and became ...

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Queen Elizabeth II

Born 17 Bruton Street, to the Duke and Duchess of York. When she was 10 her f...

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Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe

Landscape architect. Born Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe at 70 Wynnstay Gardens, Chel...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
John F. Kennedy memorial - Runnymede

Also at this site Information

Jamestown tree

Virginians seem keen on sending us their soil: in 1921 they gave us a statue ...

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National Tree Week 1987

National Tree Week is an event which has been promoted by the Tree Council si...

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