Petersfield Physic Garden

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HCC Summary:
HCC Site ID: 1383 Parish: Petersfield
Designations: SDNP, CA Area:
Access: Public Access 9-6 in the summer
and 9-4 in winter
Ownership: Hampshire Buildings Trust
for Hampshire Gardens Trust

Location and Site

Petersfield Physic Garden is situated behind the buildings on the north side of the High Street. It occupies the last remaining medieval burgage plot in the town and is still enclosed within stone walls.

Historic development

It was formerly the garden of number 16 High Street, now occupied by a firm of solicitors. In 1956, Colonel John Bowen, who lived at number 22 High Street, purchased the burgage plot apart from the house and a car park area from the solicitors for use as a domestic garden. In 1985 he wanted to dispose of the garden but wished that it would remain undeveloped and form a green space in the middle of the town as a haven for wild life and a recreational asset for the local community. He finally entered into negotiations with the Hampshire Gardens Trust. These negotiations were completed in 1987 when the property was conveyed to the Hampshire Historic Buildings Trust, a corporate body, to hold on behalf of the Hampshire Gardens Trust.
With the agreement of John Bowen, the Trust decided that the garden should have a 17th Century theme suggested by the fact that John Goodyer and John Worlidge, two prominent men in the botanic and horticultural fields respectively, lived and worked in Petersfield in that century. The garden contains many of the features that would have been found in a 17th Century gentleman’s garden. All the plants, shrubs and trees featured in the garden were known in England in that century. The title ‘Physic Garden’ was stipulated by John Bowen and the garden contains nearly 100 species of herbs set out in geometrical beds.

Current description

The garden is just over a third of an acre in extent, with a meeting room and office at the south end. It is enclosed by walls on three sides. The walls are medieval in origin. The east wall shows variations in height over its length. Apart from the herb beds that occupy a third of the garden area, other features include a knot garden, a topiary area of clipped yew, and box leading to an orchard and wild flower area.
wooden arches bearing roses and hops separate the orchard from the flower and vegetable beds. Further north are the herb beds in a geometric pattern and the north wall has examples of vines and fig trees. Outside the wall are two magnificent examples of Metasequoia trees (M. glypostroboides, Dawn Redwoods), which belong to the Physic Garden.
The garden is managed by the Friends of the Physic Garden on behalf of the Hampshire Gardens Trust and is open to the public, free of charge, daily apart from Christmas.


Once the garden of a burgage plot offered to Hampshire Gardens Trust to develop as a green space in Petersfield, in perpetuity. Designed with a 17th century theme now managed by a Friends Group.
Information: October 2006

Our address

Petersfield Public Access 9-6 in the summer and 9-4 in winter Click for Disclaimer & copyright
51.004029995113285, -0.9365214407444

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