Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is proposing to add the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden to the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes and designate the Memorial itself as a listed building.
The Piper Alpha oil platform, located in the North Sea 110 miles northeast of Aberdeen, was the site of the world’s worst offshore disaster on 6 July 1988. 165 men who worked on the rig were killed when the Piper Alpha was destroyed by a series of explosions that caused major fires and the substantial collapse of the platform. Two crewmen from the MV Sandhaven were also killed during the rescue attempt. In 1988–89, discussions began on a suitable site and design for a permanent physical memorial to those who lost their lives in the disaster. The rose garden in Hazlehead Park was eventually selected as the location. A bronze memorial sculpture of three figures representing the platform’s workers, designed and created by Artist Sue Jane Taylor, was unveiled on the third anniversary of the disaster in 1991.
After a member of the public asked the HES to consider the site an initial assessment has been carried out and they have now opened a consultation so that the public can share their views about the proposal.
The consultation will run until 5 September and can be accessed via the HES website.
Once the consultation has closed, HES will consider the comments received and make a decision on designation.
Dara Parsons, Head of Designations at HES, said:
“The garden and memorial are important sites of public commemoration and memory that connect people and communities to the enduring legacies of the Piper Alpha disaster.
“We welcome comments through our consultation on our proposal to designate the Piper Alpha Memorial and Memorial Garden.
“We also welcome information that can further enhance our understanding of the sites.”
The consultation will close on 5th September 2023.
The proposal is to :
- Add the memorial garden to the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes as the ‘Piper Alpha Memorial Garden / North Sea Memorial Rose Garden’. This would recognise its national importance as a strongly valued public site of memory that connects people and communities to the enduring legacies of the Piper Alpha disaster. Inventory status means that a site’s cultural significance can be taken into account in the planning process.
- List the memorial sculpture as the ‘Piper Alpha Memorial, Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen‘ at category B. This would recognise its special architectural and historical interest as a rare example of a commemorative monument related to the history of the North Sea oil and gas industry and for its association with an event of international significance. Listingwould ensure that the importance of the memorial is taken into account in future decisions about its management.