Memorials and statues
The garden was built around the existing Titanic monument which was designed by Sir Thomas Brock. This monument, with its beautiful carrara marble sculpture, was first unveiled in 1920 in the middle of the roadway in front of City Hall.
In 1959 it was decided that the Titanic Memorial was becoming a hazard to the increasing volume of traffic in Donegall Square and a decision was taken to move the sculpture into the grounds of the City Hall.
The memorial is made up of a base of grey Cornish granite. As part of the garden renovation in 2012, the sculpture was professionally cleaned and the lettering restored, recarved and the words and names painted in a gun-metal grey colour.
Inscription on the Titanic monument
Erected to the imperishable memory of those gallant Belfastmen whose names are here inscribed and who lost their lives on the 15th April 1912, by the foundering of the Belfast-built R.M.S Titanic, through collision with an iceberg, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Their devotion to duty and heroic conduct, through which the lives of many of those on board were saved, have left a record of calm fortitude and self-sacrifice which will ever remain an inspiring example to succeeding generations. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends'.
Titanic Memorial Garden
The Titanic Memorial Garden was officially opened on 15 April 2012, the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and is situated on the eastern side of Belfast City Hall.
The garden is set on two levels with the upper level containing a nine metre long plinth, inscribed with the names of those who died on RMS Titanic and a lower grassed terrace surrounding the existing monument.
The garden's memorial plinth supports 15 bronze plaques which list, in alphabetical order, the names of 1,512 people who perished on RMS Titanic.
When the plaques were being designed, we believed that a complete list of names was already in existence, however this was not the case.
Many existing lists documented the First Class, Second Class and Steerage, but did not necessarily include all the crew members, the Guarantee Group, the postal workers and the musicians.
This is the first time that the names of everyone who perished have been recorded on one monument. The Belfast List, as it is now known, is a key feature of the memorial garden.
Plants chosen for the garden have been selected to display good seasonal interest particularly in the springtime, around the period when the Titanic disaster occurred.
Whether through foliage, flowers or bark, the garden's colour theme is predominantly a range of whites, silvers, blues and greens. These colours have been chosen to reflect the colours of water and ice and to encourage a sense of contemplation and a feeling of relative peace and rest.
Two multi-stem betula utilis var. jacquemontii (Himalayan birch) have been planted either side of the memorial plinth. These birch trees have spectacular white bark and mature into particularly elegant and graceful trees.
Other feature plants include the beautiful Magnolia x soulangeana 'Alba Superba', or tulip magnolia and a selection of white shrub roses including Rosa 'Claire Austin' and Rosa 'Lichfield Angel'.
Some of the plants provide hints to the background story to the garden, the blue forget-me-nots, the fragrant rosemary (rosemary symbolising remembrance), the attractive magnolia stellata or star magnolia, providing white star shaped flowers between March and April, and of course the birch (symbolising renewal).