College Garden is available for four to five weeks from the end of June into July for events between 6pm and 10pm, on weekdays for a maximum of 500 people. A simple, yet stylish, marquee is provided in case of inclement weather for the events. This exclusive season is particularly popular and so early enquiries are welcomed.
It is also available once a month outside of the season.
College garden occupies a site that has been under continuous cultivation for more than 900 years. It was here that the Abbey's first Infirmary garden was established in the eleventh-century. The Infirmarer, a senior monk of the Abbey, had care of the sick and elderly members of the monastic community as well as administering a dispensary for local people. He would have directed the planting and cultivation of the various herbs needed for medicinal purposes in the Infirmary. Some of these herbs, such as rosemary and fennel, are still grown in the garden today.
While the original garden was principally an area in which to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables, it also gave the convalescing monks a place in the open air for relaxation and gentle exercise. Today, the garden still offers a tranquil space for the residents and staff at the Abbey. It has been open to the public for a relatively short period of its history.
The oldest surviving features that can be seen today are the stone precinct walls at the far end of the garden and running along the left-hand side as you stand at the entrance gate. These walls date from the fourteenth-century. To the right stands the eighteenth-century dormitory building belonging to Westminster School. It was designed by Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington, altering an earlier design by Sir Christopher Wren. The oldest living things in the present garden are the five tall plane trees, Platus x hispanicus, planted in 1849.
Garden parties: up to 500 people
Official season June - July only
For enquiries relating to hire charges, please email firstname.lastname@example.org