In the Secret Gardens – hidden oasis around Lancaster that offer sanctuary away from the noise and bustle of the city

“Probably the older of the secret gardens in Lancaster belongs to the Judges’ Lodgings Museum.  Originally a functional space, probably where horses were stabled, an excavation revealed some Roman archaeology there.

After becoming overgrown when the building closed for three years, the garden became a hive of activity again when the museum re-opened in 2019.  Volunteers, led by site manage Jenny Dowell, cleared the rampant brambles and weeds before planting bulbs and bedding plants to bring the garden back to life and were highly commended in the national Marsh Volunteering Awards.

Development plans have been drawn up by landscape architect, David Redmore.  The plan is for a strict geometric design to include a parterre based on a bookcase in the museum and featuring plants from the Georgian period.  The design, including much wider stone paths for disabled access, an area for outdoor classrooms and to enjoy afternoon tea and events. 

Other secret gardens covered included The Storey Gardens. Barton Road Centre, Aldcliffe Road Triangle and Scotch Quarry Community Garden”.

Edited version of the article published in the May/June 2021 Lake District Life & Lancashire Life