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Historic garden tours raise £18,000 for charity

Open Days at the Bishop's Garden at Norwich Cathedral have raised £18,000 for charity Photo: Diocese of Norwich

The Bishop of Norwich’s Garden has a record breaking year helping local charities to raise funds.

Despite the rain experienced through the early summer, the Bishop’s Garden has raised nearly £18,000 for local charities during 2012. Each year, the Bishop of Norwich and Mrs James make their garden available to a variety of different local charities who apply to run an Open Garden event on Sunday afternoons. The exact amount raised by local charities was £17,937.04.

“This was a very wet summer but many of our charity garden days were blessed with fine weather. We welcomed several thousand people to our garden. It's a pleasure to share it and to know that so many excellent local charities have raised so much money here as a result”.

– The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich
Open Days at the Bishop's Garden at Norwich Cathedral have raised £18,000 for charity Credit: Diocese of Norwich

The Bishop’s Garden which is found in the centre of the city between St Martin at Palace Plain and the Cathedral remains one of the hidden gems of Norwich which more people discover year by year.

There has been a garden of sorts since around 1100 AD when Bishop de Losinga began to build the cathedral and palace. The original detailing of Norman stonework on the North Transept of the cathedral which is only visible from the Bishops Garden.

In the early 14th century, Bishop John Salmon greatly increased the size of the garden by compulsory purchase of additional land. He pushed Bishopgate northwards, thereby extending the grounds to their present size. The high walls that still survive were built nearly 700 years ago. He was also responsible for the large hall that was added to a grand porch way. This ruin still stands in the garden and is known as Bishop Salmons Porch.

Head Gardener, Simon Gaches, said, “It’s been great to see the garden appreciated by so many visitors, many of whom haven’t been before. I’m really pleased to see local charities doing so well”.

The charities which benefited are:

  • Friends of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • Mother’s Union
  • Friends of Parkside School
  • National Gardens Scheme
  • Edith Cavell Day Care
  • Rotary for Nelson’s Journey
  • Paul Cattermole Trust
  • Age UK
  • Musical Keys
  • Wherry Yacht Charter Trust

There is a last chance to see the garden this year which is open on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September from 10am – 4pm as a part of the Heritage Open Days.