|HCC Site ID:||1600||Parish:||Winchester|
|Access:||Historic site/College Tours available||Ownership:||Winchester College|
Location and Site
The Garden is situated in the grounds of Winchester College. There is an entrance from Kingsgate Street.
Winchester College had only five acres of gardens when it was founded. A gardener was employed from the start and it can be said that the gardens have always played an important part in the life of the college. A notable 20th century addition was the Cloisters and Garden of Remembrance, designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1922 with dedication in 1924.
The whole was originally created to commemorate the death of 500 Wykehamists who fell in service in World War I. Their names are engraved on the outer walls and represent various Regiments. Those who fell in World War II are listed on the inner columns. The arcaded Cloisters consisting of knapped flint, dressed stone and English oak reflect the medieval cloister built by the school’s founder, William of Wykeham. There are four grassed rectangles with a central cross designed by Alfred Turner. The central gabled entrance has a Madonna by Charles Wheeler. Within the cloister is the Garden of Remembrance for which Gertrude Jekyll drew up a planting plan, a copy of which is in the College Library. A pamphlet of 1924 describes the architecture, sculpture, heraldry and symbolism behind the cloister. It also describes, ‘ A narrow bed of flowers, in which roses and white lilies prevail and make a fringe to the grass squares where they touch the arcades’. Following a revamp of the Garden in the 1960s much of the Jekyll planting was replaced.
There was a further major redesign of the Garden in 2014. The view was taken that the trees had grown making the gardens too gloomy, and that the plants suggested by Jekyll were either no longer available or even that insufficient evidence existed to show exactly what she recommended. There is now almost no evidence left of Jekyll’s planting. (ii)
The Garden is reputedly now the largest private War Memorial in Europe.
Summary and significance
Cloisters and a Garden of Remembrance created to commemorate the 500 Wykehamists who lost their lives in WW1, designed by Herbert Baker, 1922-1924. Gertrude Jekyll created a planting plan, which resides in the College archives. Subsequent redesigns have left almost nothing of Jekyll’s planting, though as a designed WWI memorial garden, it maintains its significance in the college setting.
Information: Hampshire County Council 1999
Hampshire County Magazine 1990
Visit by HGT Research Group, July 2004