The inspiration for the garden comes from surviving records of royal gardens. Within the walled enclosure is a grassy bower, a tunnel arbour, fountain and pool, and a herber, or secluded sitting area. The "Eleanor" in the name of this garden refers to not one Eleanor, but two; Queen Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, and Queen Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III. Both women spent considerable time living at Winchester Castle, which at the time was a principle royal seat.
Forming one side of the garden is the last remaining wall of King's House, built by Sir Christopher Wren for Charles II in 1683, the house was used as a military barracks throughout the Victorian period until it was destroyed by fire in 1894.
Though small, the garden has a delightful ambience, with a quite remarkable variety of features packed into a small space. A modern observer will quickly notice that medieval people had a quite different idea of what a garden should look like. There are no massed flower beds, indeed, there is very little in the way of colour, at least by modern standards. Rather, there are small, informal garden areas, intertwined with pathways, and sprinkled with herbs and aromatic plants. For more on medieval gardens, click here.
Address: Winchester Castle,
England, SO23 8PJ
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: city centre, SE Westgate archway
Website: Queen Eleanor's Garden
Phone: 01962 846 476
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