The columns of stone from the renovated Rose Window at Durham Cathedral in the memorial garden.

Funds donated by a former patient have been used to create a memorial garden in memory of one of our consultants.

The garden of Bowes Lyon at Lanchester Road Hospital in Durham, was built to remember and celebrate the work of Dr Paul Collings, a consultant psychiatrist at the older peoples’ mental health unit.

Dr Collings had worked for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust for 19 years, before his death last year, aged 53.

He enjoyed being outdoors, nature and gardens, and colleagues felt creating a garden in his memory for patients to enjoy would be a fitting tribute.  The attractive garden has over 300 plants, trees and bushes, a seating area made from sleepers, tables and chairs and a solar powered water feature.

A plaque dedicated to Dr Collings is mounted beside three columns of stone, which were donated from the renovation of the Rose Window at Durham Cathedral by local landscape gardener, Bill Sones.


L-R: The memorial garden, Anne Fisher and Pat Francis, the memorial plaque.

Anne Fisher, community team manager at Bowes Lyon and the drive behind the project said: “Dr Collings was well thought of by his colleagues and patients. His death was very sad for us all and our thoughts are with his wife and family”. 

“We hope this beautiful space will provide a peaceful area in which our patients and visitors can relax and reflect.  Dr Collings had a real passion for the outdoors and gardens, and thought they should be full of colour.  We feel this is a very fitting memorial to him and look forward to seeing it develop and grow over the years”.

The Bowes Lyon unit provides inpatient and day services for older people with mental ill health. 

The garden was officially opened on Wednesday 24 August by retired chaplain Pat Francis, who worked with Dr Collings and the mental health services for older people team.  She unveiled a plaque dedicated to Dr Collings in front of 50 guests, including family members, patients, carers and trust staff.