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Discover more about the garden

Fulham Palace garden is protected as an important historic landscape. Once enclosed by the longest moat in England, 13 acres remain of the original 36. The surviving layout is mainly 19th century with an earlier Walled Garden and some 18th century landscaping.

The garden includes many rare trees, including the ancient evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) located on the south side of the main lawn. It is estimated to be approximately 500 years old and is a Great Tree of London. It may have been planted by Bishop Grindal (1559-1570), who sent grapes grown at the Palace to Elizabeth I each year.

The most celebrated gardening Bishop was Henry Compton (1632-1713) who developed a famous collection of plants, both hardy and exotic. The grounds were landscaped for Bishop Terrick in the 1760s during the rebuilding of the house. The formal enclosed gardens were replaced with open lawns providing views to the river.

The grounds of Fulham Palace have always served a variety of purposes; providing food for the household, a beautiful garden for relaxation and space, for both recreation and hospitality. The celebrated garden parties began with Mrs Tait in the 1860s. Bishop Creighton (1843-1901) exhausted his guests by taking them for fast walks around the garden. Bishop Winnington-Ingram (retired 1939) had a grass tennis court on the south west side of the lawn. A bachelor, he opened up his house to convalescent children from the East End slums and allowed fetes in the grounds. After World War II, the estate had to be run on more economical lines and the garden went into a gradual decline. In 1974 the garden was opened to the public, a year before Hammersmith Council leased the site for 100 years. In 2011, Fulham Palace Trust, an independent charity took over the lease and has been restoring the Garden ever since.

Walled Garden Restoration

The Walled Garden was closed in October 2010 to allow restoration and building works to commence.  There have been dramatic changes to some features of the garden during the works that completed in March 2012.

The garden paths are now laid out in their traditional position, the knot garden replaced and replanted in its original 1830s design, the walls repointed and repaired, the entrance gates maintained and replaced, the adjacent bothies which were completely derelict have been restored and the once shell of a vinery has been completely rebuilt.

The recently replanted Knot Garden has established well, with no signs of box blight, and in April 2012 received a first trim to allow formal shaping. The earliest image of the Knot Garden is in Jessie MacGregor’s 1915 painting, where it is filled with irises and roses and shows a young wisteria with original metal hoops. From the 1980s it was planted as an herb garden, which became overgrown and was removed in 2010.

The knot garden was planted up in Spring 2012 with an herbaceous perennial display to represent Bishop Blomfield who is believed to have planted the knot garden originally in 1831 during the start of his residency at the Palace.  The scheme represents the colours of his Coat of Arms – red, blue and yellow to provide a colourful display in summer and early autumn. Since the original planting, the plants have been lifted and divided twice and additional plants are continually being added, as the Garden evolves. For instance, the Echium pininana flowered for the first time this year (2018).

The early Victorian bothies that are situated on the outer side of the Walled Garden directly behind the Vinery were fully restored in 2012. The garden team moved in and were reunited with its traditional working quarters. The bothies are a series of small brick rooms that run along the curved perimeter directly behind the vinery and include a potting shed, tool shed, produce storage rooms and the Head Gardener’s office.

The vinery, understood to have been built in the early 1830s, is a stunning metal-framed glasshouse with three separate sections. Electric heaters have replaced the original boiler and water pipe heating system,

The Market Barrow

While visiting the Palace, be on the lookout for our charming barrow in the Walled Garden. From here we sell seasonal vegetables and fruit, all organically grown in the Walled Garden, together with plants and fresh cut flowers, also raised and cultivated in the Walled Garden.

The barrow is manned by our dedicated team of garden volunteers, one of whom is always near to the barrow, so please do not hesitate to ask if you cannot find what you are looking for,or, indeed, need a few cooking suggestions! They will be happy to help.

The barrow is open for sales from 11 am until 3.30 pm, Mondays to Saturdays.

All sale proceeds are ploughed back into the maintenance and restoration of the whole of the Palace garden, so as well as enjoying wonderful flowers and produce you are also helping our important work in bringing the garden back to its former glory.

 

Discover more about the garden
Discover more about the garden
Discover more about the garden
Discover more about the garden
Designed at Richard P Chapman Design Associates

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