Ghosts In the Gardens Scoops National Award.

Ghosts In The Gardens has been delighting residents and Autumn visitors to York for last two years, and now the innovative project has received recognition at the National BID Awards winning top spot for Place Marketing.

Ghosts in the Gardens is a free public art trail with a difference, telling stories of York’s world-famous history through life-sized eerie sculptures.

The project is delivered by the York BID who partnered with York design agency Unconventional Design to create the translucent sculptures skilfully formed from low aperture wire mesh. Ghosts In The Gardens celebrates the people and animals that have lived in York over the past 2,000 years, from historical figures to the Museum Garden’s beloved squirrels. This project brought a fresh approach to events around Halloween and strengthened the connection between people and place by bringing York’s unique history to life.

Claire Palmer, Director at Unconventional Design said “It’s been great to be part of such a unique project and offer York residents & visitors something creative to enjoy from York’s spooky history.” 

Ghosts In The Gardens launched in 2021 in partnership with York Museums Trust, with 10 ghosts in York Museum Gardens. This year it has grown into a 6-week installation, featuring 25 ghosts across 6 city centre locations at Treasurer’s House, The Merchant Adventurers Hall, Middletons Hotel, The Artists Garden, Barley Hall and St Anthony’s Garden.

Rachel Bean, York BID Project Executive said, “York’s built heritage means delivering creative projects in the public realm comes with unique challenges, so partnering with businesses is a fantastic way to utilise city centre spaces and increase public engagement with York’s business offering. This project demonstrates the outstanding outcomes that can be achieved when city partners work together.”

Carl Alsop, York BID Operations Manager said: “I’m over the moon that the BID has been recognised for our Ghosts in the Gardens project. The project is one that we took a risk on but are thrilled with the response it continues to get in the gardens and on social media. It’s so great to hear people are returning again and again to see the ghosts in different lights, different weather conditions, and to make sure they find them all… even the elusive squirrel!”

Steve Williams, Garden Manager at York Museums Trust said: “This is the second year we have hosted Ghosts in the Gardens and we have been absolutely delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response, both in person and via social media, to the ghosts. At the weekend people are queuing up in front of the ghosts to get a photo and it is wonderful to hear the impression they are making on our visitors as our staff walk by or stop for a chat. Huge congratulations to the York BID for their vision in bringing Ghosts in the Gardens to life.”

Carl Alsop, Claire Palmer, Andrew Lowson, Rachel Bean, Steve Williams in Museum Gardens.
Carl Alsop, Claire Palmer, Andrew Lowson, Rachel Bean, Steve Williams in Museum Gardens.