Wirksworth Memorial Garden and Market Square


The project brief was to create a flexible space that could be used for the town’s Saturday markets whilst maintaining the peace and tranquility of a memorial garden.

It was important from the outset that the design responded sympathetically to the garden’s context and its existing users whilst also providing suitable hard standing and circulation space for a flexible use of the space for markets and other town events. Moreover, the design needed to integrate a large London Plane tree located between the garden and the street into the proposals, and in doing so to make good existing root damage.

We provided Wirksworth Town Council with a number of different design options in order to determine their priorities and aspirations for the space.


The final design used structural planting to define the memorial garden extents and to create a sense of enclosure to this area. The remainder of the space adjacent to the street was opened up to allow provision for weekly farmers markets and large annual remembrance events. Our approach included a strong re-purposing strategy which included incorporating the existing memorial gates as an artistic focal feature set amongst new planting and the reuse of paving and existing wall coping to create space for seating and access to the existing memorial features.

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“Striking the experiential balance between competing purposes for the site, in particular the memorial space and the market area, was the kind of challenge that I enjoy to work with. We're very happy with the solution!”


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