Update February 2017 – > YouTube feature video below
Vision for Strawberry Field is to weave together educational, cultural, heritage and spiritual exploration in one bold, imaginative plan. Building on from the story of Strawberry Field, we want to create a vibrant visitor experience that inspires people today as much as the place inspired the young John Lennon. http://www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com/
In 1934, an old Victorian house and estate known as ‘Strawberry Field’ was sold to The Salvation Army by the widow of a wealthy merchant. It was situated in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool, England.
Two years after the sale, The Salvation Army opened a children’s home there. Then, in the 1970s, the original house was replaced with three units, each housing 12 children.
Also out of Liverpool was a musical group of four young lads who, in 1967, immortalized the estate in their song of the same name (plus an s) ‘Strawberry Fields’.
As a young boy, John Lennon lived near the estate. He remembered it with fondness as a place where he always had fun playing in the vast gardens with his friends and attending the annual garden party each summer. As soon as he heard The Salvation Army Band, he jumped up and down shouting to his aunt “Mimi, come on. We’re going to be late.”
Policies to child welfare changed and society left behind orphanages in favour of foster homes. Strawberry Field had less and less children being sent and was eventually closed in 2005. The famous gates were removed and taken into safe-keeping in 2011 with replicas being installed instead. Strawberry Field still contributes to the neighbourhood as a church and prayer centre.