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25 July 2023

Proposal to designate Piper Alpha Memorial and Memorial Garden

We are seeking views on our proposals to designate the Piper Alpha Memorial and Memorial Garden in Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen.

A landscape photo of the memorial garden showing all the flowers with two people looking at a statue

After a member of the public asked the organisation to consider the site, HES has carried out an initial assessment and is now proposing to add the 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.

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 run until 5 September. 

Once the consultation has closed, HES will consider the comments received and make a decision on the designation. 

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For further information, please contact:

Laura Ely
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
07721 959 962