Memorial garden mystery at Telford industrial estate slowly being lost to nature

Overgrown, neglected, and in the shadow of a large former distribution centre on a sprawling industrial estate, it must be one of Telford's most unusual memorial gardens.

The dog statue peers out over the vegetation.
The dog statue peers out over the vegetation.

If that is what it is.

Disappearing in the spreading undergrowth are little plaques – 'In Loving Memory, Pauline Gubbins', 'In Loving Memory, Andrew Lineton', and so on.

It's all in an area under a big street lamp and includes a bird bath, a little paved path, a large wooden bird (albeit with the feet sadly broken off), a stone dog statue...

The dog statue peers out over the vegetation.

Julia Prior chanced upon the memorial garden while out walking in Halesfield a few months ago, when it was considerably less overgrown and had some spring flowers giving a splash of colour. She is mystified, and hoping that somebody can shed some more light on it.

"It is so fascinating. I walk around here every morning with a friend and happened to come across here and suddenly saw the sun shining on this," she said as she drew the vegetation back from an In Loving Memory plaque.

"It's absolutely incredible. I can't remember exactly how many there are. I would say there are certainly half a dozen at least."

The garden at Halesfield is disappearing under shrubbery and undergrowth.

It's probably not a good idea to precisely identify the spot, but it is by what was once a major Telford company's distribution centre, which closed four years ago, with the distinctive building now turned to alternative uses.

Julia, who lives near Shifnal, says she knows absolutely nothing about the memorial garden, including whether it was there before the firm or has some link with the former firm.

"Why would anybody have this little area in this place when there's nothing here at all? It's very, very strange."

Julia took this picture some time ago – the garden is now overgrown.

She doesn't think anybody will actually be buried there.

Some of the memorial plaques are identical in style, and none of them bears any date information. One, commemorating Maz Smith, is accompanied by a little message including the lines "you're only male and only human" and "you have more breaks than a fracture clinic."

A wooden bird stands above one of the plaques.

If you can solve the mystery drop a line to toby.neal@mnamedia.co.uk

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