Memorial identified for Mortonhall Crematorium

A walled circular water feature garden is being recommended as the memorial for Mortonhall Crematorium.

Mortonhall memorial 1
Walled circular water feature garden

The preferred design is detailed in the Mortonhall Memorial Options report going to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee next week (Tuesday 2 June).

It is described as ‘an enclosed circular space providing parents with a private and peaceful place for personal contemplation’. It will include beech hedges, birch trees, a stone ball water feature, rocks, pathway, plenty of seating and be located off the existing memorial walkway within easy reach of the main chapel. 

The Mortonhall Multi-Agency Working Group worked closely with independent garden landscape designers to develop a range of four initial design options. Affected parents were consulted earlier in the year through an online survey and a series of consultation events hosted by SANDS Lothian, SiMBA, and the Council.

The feedback resulted in the walled circular water garden coming out as the favoured option. Work will start on the memorial next month and it is expected to be completed by November 2015.

In line with parents’ wishes an alternative memorial is being proposed as some families had strong views that they did not wish to return to Mortonhall. The preferred location for the second memorial is Princes Street Gardens.

Chief Executive, Sue Bruce, said: “I am pleased that we now have a design identified for the memorial at Mortonhall. This was a difficult process for everyone involved but it was important to hear the views of all affected parents and reflect their wishes.

“The walled water feature garden will provide a tranquil area for reflection. I’d like to acknowledge my appreciation of the feedback from parents in choosing such a fitting memorial.”

Nicola Welsh, Chief Executive of SANDS Lothian, said: “Since taking over running the charity in January, I have attended all the Mortonhall Working Party Meetings and have been very impressed with the level of care and attention given to try and get the memorials right. The Council and other group members have been keen to involve parents and their online surveys have given everyone a voice and hopefully a majority vote on the designs.  

“There have been many debates and conversations regarding the designs and how best to meet the needs of those affected.  We are aware that we can't get it right for everyone but I think the design for Mortonhall looks lovely and the designer has been keen to take everyone's ideas into account. I hope this area will bring comfort to those affected and their extended families in the future. It will be a special and lasting memorial for all the little babies.”

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