The Old Deanery Garden

The Old Deanery Garden

The Old Deanery, 9 Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset BA5 2UG

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Dr William Turner Dean of Wells
How old is the beech tree?
The Building Site
The Project
Old Deanery Garden Leaflet

The Project

The challenge to revive the Old Deanery garden was taken up with enthusiasm by a group of volunteers. The aim was not to reconstruct the garden of William Turner, but to use the plants he wrote about. Gradually, as time and money allowed, features reflecting the kind of garden Turner would have known have been introduced. Much has been done since the start of the project in 2003.

  • Ground elder and other perennial weeds have been cleared throughout the garden.
  • The Chequer Beds have been re-set and re-planted.
  • The garden shed has been repaired and relocated within a redesigned work area and Hopyard.
  • Dead and overgrown trees and shrubs have been removed to allow the specimen trees to flourish. The magnificent copper beech has been cared for by professional tree surgeons.
  • The old broken tarmac and concrete paths have been replaced by wheelchair - friendly surfaces in a formal Tudor style layout.
  • Stonework on the South East rampart has been repaired (to allow limited access only for maintenance), the ground has been cleared and Old English roses have been planted.
  • The Little Orchard (still in its infancy) is now home to a variety of fruit trees which would have been known in Turner’s time.
  • An allee has been constructed along the back of the Little Orchard and now supports a row of espalier pears.
  • Garden seats have been purchased and sited at strategic points around the garden.
  • Turner’s travels in Italy have also been incorporated. The cool and shady courtyard now sports a Tudor style fountain capped by a lion’s head carved out of local stone. The sunny seating area with its grapevines offers a vista of the garden through Italian cypress trees.
  • The “business end” of the garden with its series of compost bins has been moved to allow the introduction of the “Hopyard”.
  • This work has been accomplished mostly by the team of volunteers, with professionals called in where needed.
  • The project has also been supported by the generosity of Friends and donors, to whom we are most grateful.
  • Additional funds have been raised through a variety of events organised by the project members.

A gardener’s work is never done!
Maintenance and refreshing planting are on-going.