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The Abbot’s Garden

The Abbot’s Garden was established in 2008 when the newly restored Tithe Barn was officially opened by H.R.H. Prince Charles.
IMG_1261Situated at the N.E. Side of St. Mary’s Priory Church it was to be part of The Tithe Barn Schools’ Learning Service which provides hands-on workshops based on Tudor life.

The garden is mainly a well resourced and researched herb garden and is divided into areas where herbs were used variously in Tudor life – these being medicinal, culinary and domestic.

The garden would have been tended by the resident Benedictine monks as well as novice monks learning the benefit of herbal plants.

As well as the traditional herb garden there is a very beautiful Magnificat garden outside the East end of the church.  The plants here were mostly flowers associated with St. Mary in blue and white with splashes of pink.

Tucked away at the South side, through an arch of Rambling Rector roses, is an area where there is a raised bed based on the French parterre designs. This is a place where one can sit in peace and privacy to reflect.

There are several other places to sit, back in the main garden, either under a pergola covered in honeysuckle or around the edges to take in the two beds of roses (which would have been used for the oil produced from the petals), near one of our three traditional Tudor trees (Medlar, Quince and Mulberry) or near the soft fruit beds of raspberries, black currants or strawberries.

The establishment of a wild flower meadow is an ongoing project together with the creation of a nursery bed to produce new plants when they are needed.

The garden really needs more volunteers. Presently there are six who get together every Friday mostly doing what they like doing best – either planting, pruning, weeding or mowing – or maybe a bit of planning for the future. Volunteers do not need to be expert; it is not hard work but very rewarding and lots of fun.

For more information please contact The Tithe Barn between 10 am – 4pm Mon.-Sat. Tel: 01873 85878
e mail: enquiries@stmarys.priory.org

Rosemary Carter

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