Is the Memorial Garden open to visit?
Yes, the Memorial Garden is located on the heritage route on the site of our former home, the Boleyn Ground. Families and friends of loved ones can visit freely, whenever they wish as the Garden has now reopened to the public realm. The Garden sits adjacent to where the famous John Lyall gates once stood, facing Green Street.
Will the area be maintained?
Yes, Upton Gardens has a concierge on site who are responsible for maintaining all of the greenery around the development, including the Memorial Garden bushes and plants. The Club will also continue to keep a watchful eye over the Memorial Garden and will be happy to support with any queries that families and friends of supporters might have in future.
How have the Club been contacting family members?
The Boleyn Ground Memorial Garden was created by the fans in 2001 and there was never a requirement to ask permission from the Club to lay ashes or special items there. The Garden was constantly accessible with the hotel at the Boleyn Ground being open 24 hours a day, and many fans chose to pay tribute privately on matchday.
As such, official records of those who have scattered ashes or laid memorabilia at the site were not historically kept at West Ham United, which has naturally made it difficult to formally recognise those honoured within it.
On three separate occasions, the Club documented the names on all of the plaques placed at the Memorial Garden, with all plaques in situ during that time recorded and included within the Memorial Plaque, even if the family had not been in touch with us.
With no formal records, we took a number of steps to try and make contact with family members. Initially, the Club searched our email archives to find any supporters who had previously contacted us regarding the Memorial Garden. Letters and emails were sent to those who attended the Memorial Service held at the Boleyn Ground upon its closure and we also requested records from the previous and current Club Chaplain to try and contact as many families as possible.
A notice regarding the future of the Memorial Garden has been on site since 2017 to encourage any fans visiting the garden to contact the Club.
The Club have been publicly communicating updates across our channels, including on our website, our matchday programme and social media, to encourage any families that we have not yet managed to contact to come forward. If you do have a loved one remembered at the Memorial Garden, we’d ask you to contact us directly on [email protected]
How was the Memorial Garden design chosen?
The Club, Barratt London, and families and close friends of the supporters remembered at the Memorial Garden collaborated together throughout the design process of the new area. This began with a series of consultation events held in 2018 at Our Lady of Compassion Church, on Castle Street, adjacent to the Memorial Garden. The Club and Barratt London were able to share initial design plans with families who then provided their feedback for inclusion within the future proposals for the Memorial Garden. The features include:
- A Memorial Plaque, containing the names, year of birth and year of passing for all supporters remembered
- A Memorial Capsule, containing cherished items belonging to families and supporters, which is buried beneath the site and marked with a commemorative plaque
- Retaining the two trees and the soil, which has been capped by earth, fresh bark, and Claret and Blue plants, in order to protect the ashes of loved ones
- The Boleyn Gate font, taking inspiration from the lettering on the famous gates which stood proudly alongside the entrance to the Memorial Garden
- Benches integrated within the area, to provide visitors with a place of comfort and reflection
Are there Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on the two trees?
The Club understands that a TPO was placed on one of the trees many years prior to our move to London Stadium. We’re engaging with Newham Council with the request to place TPOs on the other two tress that are within the Memorial Garden area and will update this page and families of loved ones with further information.
Where is the memorial capsule buried?
The capsule is located in the same area as the Memorial Garden directly in front of the Memorial Plaque facing Green Street. The location is marked by a commemorative plaque.
Can I place ashes at the Memorial Garden?
As the Memorial Garden is now part of the public realm and has been specially relandscaped, ashes are no longer permitted to be scattered in the area. Any ashes placed in the area at this stage could damage the plants and shrubbery which have been carefully sourced and placed within the area.
I am a family member of a supporter remembered at the Memorial Garden. Can I place a tribute there?
Physical tributes can no longer be placed at the Memorial Garden now that it has been relandscaped. Families were provided with the option of placing an item within the Memorial Capsule and having their loved ones' name included on the Memorial Plaque, with both of these special elements designed as a tribute to supporters. Small floral tributes are permitted on anniversaries and at other significant moments for families, however, there will come a time when the floral tribute would need to be removed from the area as part of the routine upkeep of the site.