1,000 yr previous secret backyard in central London with fish ponds and beehives

1,000 year old secret garden in central London with fish ponds and beehives

If you’ve stayed in London during the pandemic, chances are you’ve exhausted your enthusiasm for strolling through the same parks and are looking for something new to explore.

As restrictions are gradually eased and we are allowed to be a bit more adventurous, a visit to the gardens of Westminster Abbey could provide just the diversion you need.

It’s a place associated with royal weddings and grand ceremonies, but did you know there’s also a beautiful garden on the premises?

Hidden within the walls of the abbey precincts lies the College Garden, which has been cultivated for more than 900 years.

During the monastic period, the gardens were used to grow food and medicinal herbs for the abbey’s residents.

Next to it were fish ponds, beehives, an orchard and a separate piece of land for growing vegetables. An idyllic scene indeed.

Beautiful flowers abound(Image: Tracy from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, USA, 02.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Even in times when the gardens were used for practical purposes, beauty was always paramount, so roses and lilies nestled against the walls of the College Garden. These were cared for by monks, who were given the titles chief gardener and two junior gardeners.

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(Image: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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The fountain in College Garden, Westminster Abbey makes a pretty focal point(Image: Tobias Michaelsen from Copenhagen S, Denmark)

College Garden nestles within the precincts of Westminster Abbey(Image: Tracy from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, USA, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)