Plans for Covid-19 memorial garden in Alnwick, with backing from the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland

Plans are being developed for a Covid-19 memorial garden in Alnwick.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 12:19 pm

A potential site has been identified on Green Batt and permission has been granted by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.

Cllr Gordon Castle, local county councillor, outlined the proposal at a meeting of Alnwick Town Council and revealed it had emerged from a discussion with Cllr Bill Grisdale.

“We came up with a suggestion that we have a Covid memorial garden in Alnwick and after a discussion the obvious location was the small garden area between the old schoolhouse, next to the former library, and the veterinary practice."

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The proposed site of a Covid-19 memorial garden at Green Batt, Alnwick.

"I put the proposal to Northumberland Estates, who own the land. We thought it might be the church but it’s not. When it was reconsecrated this piece of land didn’t go with it.

"The Duke and Duchess personally felt it was a very good idea and have agreed that it can be donated for this purpose along with some money to go with it.

"In principle, those I have spoken to thought this was a really good idea. There could be some kind of sculpture, possibly a competition – there are lots of things to consider.”

He felt it would be difficult to include names given the uncertainty about how long Covid-19 will continue.

He revealed that Alnwick in Bloom, which has looked after the area for many years and did at one point have some plans for some sort of memorial, have enthusiastically supported the idea. The proposal will also be discussed with Alnwick Churches Together.

Town councillors were in support of the idea.

Cllr Martin Swinbank said: “It’s a lovely space and its surprisingly quiet so I think it is a good place for people to sit in quiet contemplation.”

Cllr Martin Harrington felt the memorial garden was a good idea, although he had concerns that it could be too soon.

“I take the point Martin makes but I don’t think it prevents us from looking at the project,” said Cllr Alan Symmonds.

Cllr Grisdale felt it was a good central location and hoped work could be carried out to make it the stepped entrance accessible for all.

Cllr John Humphries revealed that a garden of remembrance was also going to be created at the cemetery with benches dedicated to key workers.

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