|HCC Site ID:||1604||Parish:||Winchester|
|Access:||Public Access – see link below||Ownership:||The Hospital of St Cross|
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Location and Site
The ancient Hospital lies on the St Cross Road, a mile from Winchester City Centre. It is situated within the complex of St Cross Hospital. It stands in the water meadows below St Catherine’s Hill.
Historical and Current descriptions
An oasis of beauty and tranquility, the Master’s Garden includes a wide range of plants with flowering interest throughout the year. The borders are very colourful in the summer months, with shades that are particularly sensitive to the historic location and grey garden walls. The garden includes a border planted to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
The borders continue to be designed and watched over by horticultural expert and garden owner Victoria Wakefield, the former Chairman of Trustees.
The area incorporates the Compton Garden which commemorates Henry Compton, Master of St Cross from 1667-1675. He later became Bishop of London, when its diocese included America. Bishop Compton created the garden at Fulham Palace with plants from the New World at the time when they were very newly imported into England. This garden therefore also features plants introduced from America into England during Bishop Compton’s lifetime. These have been expertly researched and sourced.
The Compton Garden was relaid in 1986. The tulip tree in the Compton Garden was planted by Her Majesty Elizabeth The Queen Mother to commemorate her visit to the Hospital of St Cross on 8th July 1986.
Another tree originating from the New World, a Cercis canadensis ‘Texan White’ was planted by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to commemorate her visit on 21st February 2008
The Hospital has an expert full-time gardener who sometimes make plants available for sale in the shop. He also helps the Brothers with their gardening if needed.
Visitors to the Hospital may visit the Master’s Garden.
© Copyright The Hospital of St Cross. Registered Charity No 202751. Photographs: Brother Clive McCleester and Dr John Crook.
Summary & Significance
Founded in the 1130s by Henry de Blois for poor men, St Cross Hospital has a walled garden with a fishpond and the Compton Garden created in the late 1980s with plants associated with the New World. It stands in water meadows below St Catherine’s Hill.
Update: February 2018