5 – Peace Garden (St Mary’s Hall Garden)

For 2022, we welcome a special installation in the Peace Garden called The Sanctuary of Human Qualities. This is a travelling installation and the opening of a conversation, a time to reflect, and maybe choose a quality you might wish to champion. 

The installation is simply wood and stone, found materials, with a low ecological footprint. On each stone, written in gold, the name of a quality…strength, endurance, understanding, respect, patience, care, humility, honour, kindness, love… . Pop in for a wander around, or a chat, or just a time of reflection. More info about the installation is at: https://www.humanqualities.net   

The St. Mary’s Hall Garden (which is the real name for what sometimes is known as the Peace Garden) occupies part of the site of the College of St. Mary, a college of priests who sang the services in the cathedral until its suppression by Henry VIII. The building that now houses the Refectory was the College Chapel, and the fine canopied doorway that opens in to the garden gave access the domestic college buildings, the ruins of which are beyond the wall opposite.

The garden is a popular place with our visitors for them to sit, or to picnic, or sometimes to play games. We are very grateful for the work of Rachel Snushall who voluntarily maintains the planting, and the groundsmen who take such good care of the lawn and much else.

History

The former chapel of College of Saint Mary founded 1365 by John of Gaunt and Bishop Adam Houghton for one master and seven priests to ensure properly trained clerics for the conduct of cathedral services.

The cloisters were built shortly after the chapel. The College survived until 1549 but was ruinous by early C19, the ashlar tracery having been robbed for building works, notably for John Nash’s W front of 1793. In 1966 it was restored as Cathedral hall by Alban Caroe with new low-pitched eaves roof and vertical window mullions.

PLEASE NOTE: whilst this garden will be open on both days, due to the annual Ordination Service on Saturday 25th June, the Cathedral building and Cloister Garden will be closed until 12.45pm.