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 it’s 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.
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 restored as Cathedral hall by Alban Caroe with new low-pitched eaves roof and vertical window mullions.
PLEASE NOTE: the annual Ordination Service will be taking place on Saturday 26th June, so the Cathedral building itself will be closed from 10am until 1.30pm.