Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden
During the summer of 2013, works to restore the unique Grade II listed Muslim Burial Ground to its form glory and create a garden of peace and remembrance commenced.
The first phase of restoration works were successfully completed in June 2014 when a gilded finial adorning the top of the entrance Chettri and ornate entrance gates were installed under the guidance of architect J Poll of Radley House Partnership.
A grant from Historic England (formerly English Heritage), together with funding from Woking Borough Council, enabled the beautiful restoration of the exterior wall brickwork, Portland stone capping and the entrance Chattri with a gilded finial in the form of a lotus flower, to its former splendour.
In recognition of the national and internationally significant site, additional funding from key stakeholders was secured to create a peace garden within the walled burial ground; funded from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme; Department for Communities and Local Government; Shah Jahan Mosque; Sultanate of the Government of Oman; Surrey County Council's Community Improvements Fund and Woking Borough Council.
During the following months landscape architects, Terra Firma Ltd, progressed the ground works with the support of serving soldiers from the British Army, including members of the Armed Forces Muslim Association, and Horsell Common Preservation Society, working together during a series of community days.
As planting came to an end, students from Bishop David Brown School joined serving soldiers, members of the Horsell Common Preservation Society and community members from the Shah Jahan Mosque, to plant shrubs and the final silver birch tree at Woking's Peace Garden.
Now complete, the Peace Garden features 27 Himalayan Birch trees representing the number of servicemen buried at the site, a water feature incorporating a memorial stone bearing their names, bold strips of pink and white heather orientated towards Mecca, scented plants such as Rosa rugosa and Sarcococca orientalis, two stone ceremonial prayer mats and benches.
As well as enhancing pride of place, Peace Garden is a significant heritage site for Woking and will provide a focal point for acts of commemoration, quiet contemplation and remembrance.