True fans of the Beatles‘ single “Strawberry Fields Forever” likely know that the song is based on a real location. The song was inspired by Liverpool’s Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army site where John Lennon spent time as a boy. The gated grounds have attracted tens of thousands of visitors in the years since the single’s 1967 release, with viewers able to peek through to the gates into the idyllic location. But now, Strawberry Field is finally opening its doors to the public for the first time, BBC News reports.
According to its website, the Salvation Army will host an “interactive visitor exhibition, community café, shop, calm garden spaces for spiritual reflection,” and more on the grounds. The venture is part of the organization’s broader Steps to Work program, which aims to help young adults with learning disabilities on their path to employment.
“As children we all have somewhere that’s a bit ours, a bit special,” John Lennon‘s sister Julia Baird told BBC News, adding that Strawberry Field was very much Lennon’s “special place.” “I think he would have loved [the renovation], because he himself was not mainstream and was very aware of it.”
“John Lennon found sanctuary here as a child and that’s exactly what we want to offer by opening the Strawberry Field gates for good,” added the Salvation Army’s Anthony Cotterill.
Strawberry Field is officially opening its doors starting today. Find more details about the site including hours, ticket prices, and exhibition information over on the Strawberry Field website.