The Gardens of Westminster Abbey
- A beautifully illustrated guide to Westminster Abbey’s three gardens, written from the uniquely informed and personal perspective of their Head Gardener
- First publication on the subject
In the tenth century the site for Westminster Abbey (then a Benedictine monastery) was chosen not only for its proximity to water for fish and transport, but also for its fertile land. Benedictine monks were gardeners and the infirmarer’s garden, now College Garden, is believed to be the oldest in England. Following the dissolution, the various abbey gardens no longer retained their individual roles, but they were still used and enjoyed by the resident clergy and the pupils of Westminster School. This beautifully illustrated guide focuses on the gardens that visitors see as they walk through the cloisters. Here, the Head Gardener recounts their history and discusses her planting philosophy, the challenges of the different garden spaces, and her favourite shrubs and flowers.
Jan Pancheri started working in the gardens in 1999 and became Head Gardener in 2002. She also contributes to garden publications and newspapers, and has written and illustrated children’s books, including one based on the gardens.