Growing the Future
We will be embarking on a new phase of work, to explore the monastic gardens within the friary precinct. The location of the gardens is indicated by the presence of four raised banks running eastwards from the back of the east range to the precinct boundary and it appears that there were three of four distinct spaces, presumably each with its own function. We hope that some palaeoenvironmental remains survive in the soil but from historic writings, information as to what would typically have been grown is available. The importance of gardens such as these to a monastic community cannot be underestimated, they provided food, medicine, contemplative spaces for prayer and meditation and flowers were grown to adorn altars and rooms within the friary. We are planning new courses and initiatives to do this work, so watch this space.
The intention is to re-construct these gardens as a long-term project, both to provide a sustainable attraction to draw visitors to the site, and potentially to grow produce to use in a variety of ways.
The community garden is located in a small part of the area of the site which lay outside the precinct boundary. The remainder of this area is currently grazed by a small flock of sheep, but has potential for other uses. It is our aim to make this space relevant to the community, and that activities can be developed in parts of it that can help to sustain the site into the future.