Gardening at Winchester is a privilege and a pleasure, working in the shadow of a school built in the fourteenth century is a rare and treasured opportunity. But it is so much more than providing a beautiful setting for the school and its medieval buildings. With a constant flow of boys and new ideas the school is not a museum with gardens set in time but is always looking to the future.
As the present custodians, in a long line of gardeners, we have the fascinating and delicate job of balancing past, present and future, as one does in all gardens but sometimes on quite a large timescale.
Within Winchester College we have medieval courtyards with lots of green, which works so well against the old stone and flint walls. A stunningly beautiful War Cloister built after the Great War was planted to give a simple sense of order and calm after the chaos of war. There are quads and formal gardens accommodating school activities, a recently planted, peaceful garden that provides teachers with space for a moment's contemplation, and a more vibrant, modern planting scheme to complement the glass and London brick of the music building extension. Currently we are trying to encourage wilder areas at our hidden edges to give a haven in a busy place for nature to relax and be less manicured. Winchester's main palette of greys and greens gives a calm and peaceful backdrop to the school’s everyday life, with the brighter and more floral areas tucked away for people to discover.
One of our recent, exciting projects has been the planting of cuttings taken from the College’s old and venerable London Planes, planted around 1780. Hopefully, our small cuttings will mature into magnificent trees that will be with us for the next three hundred years!
As gardeners we are so fortunate to be given the luxury of time, especially in this day and age. To plant small and wait for growth is a precious value that comes from the very place itself.
It is an enormous privilege to garden at Winchester and when, in the middle of winter, our toes and fingers are freezing from the cold, we have but to look up and see where we are and it lifts our souls and makes us smile.
15th August 2019
As part of its commitment to improve access to all, the school has started to run tours for the visually impaired, which are providing a different perspective on many aspects of the school for everyone involved as guides and participants are encouraged to experience the medieval buildings and environment in new ways.
18th June 2019
A beautiful new publication showcases 50 treasures from the school's outstanding collections.
6th March 2019
On Thursday 28th March, Bridget Kendall, MBE, former BBC Diplomatic Correspondent and now Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge will visit Winchester College
23rd November 2018
On Friday 23rd November 2018, Year 6 pupils from Stanmore Primary School will create a ‘pop up’ art show in the Winchester College Treasury as part of the national Kids in Museums Takeover Day.
25th October 2018
On Monday 5th November 2018, globally renowned string quartet, The Doric String Quartet will perform composer Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece, The Seven Last Words of Christ in the Quire of Winchester Cathedral.
2nd October 2018
Jesse Leroy Smith, artist in residence at Winchester College, will exhibit an immersive arcade of images commemorating cultural heroes, friends, family and strangers.