Our Head Gardener, Anthony Evans, shares more about visiting the cathedral gardens...

Hereford Cathedral is unusual in having extensive gardens, about 4 acres, under decorative cultivation. There are five in number, three managed by a team of volunteers, the Dean’s and Bishop’s are private, and all are open to visitors at arranged times. One, the Chapter House Garden, is open to the public daily as it is adjacent to the Cafe.  

These gardens were started in 1475 with the building of the Cloisters and their occupation by the Vicars Choral, whose job was to sing the seven daily services. They were initially used to feed the inhabitants of the cloisters and there are records over the years of a vineyard, an orchard and even a saffron field.    

A guide has said “The pleasures of guiding a tour are manifold, there is always the background history, but chiefly there is the wonderful variety of planting and vistas in visiting five different gardens. A courtyard awash with colourful beds and pots, a cloister peaceful, very simple, medieval in structure and no traffic sounds. Looking at the wattle-and-daub inner walls you can feel the winter chill. What did those early inhabitants grow? Culinary plants? Medicinal? Or perhaps a few flowers --and we have all three there. Next we go along a passage to the former productive area, now a country garden full of roses and dahlias sloping to the Wye. Here some have special areas, a greenhouse, an alpine bed, wild flowers and annuals. The Dean’s intimate, and a stately Bishop’s garden await you.

My chief pleasure is the relationship that one builds with the visitors on the tour, and the joy of both imparting and exchanging information and views on gardens, plants and life in general!”

Tours are 1 to 1 1/4 hours, running from May to the end of September on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm, or booked by arrangement.

Anthony Evans, Head Gardener

Please click here for more information about our garden tours.