Abbot’s Garden, Abbey Grounds, Cirencester
On Monday 7 June, work started in the Abbey Grounds to create a monastic garden, the project generated by monies raised by public generosity during the year long Festival in 2017 to celebrate 900 years since the start of building St Mary’s Abbey on the site of the present Abbey Grounds.
These initial works include the construction of a painted steel frame pergola, the shape of which will evoke the arches and fenestration of the mediaeval Abbey which will connect two raised timber beds.
Two full size silhouettes of Canons (the name given to monks of the Augustinian order) will be installed in the raised beds to represent the gardening work that would have taken place and which would have been an important part of the life in the Abbey.
After the raised beds have been built, they will be planted with herbs, shrubs and climbers. To help their establishment, this will take place in early September.
By this stage, the second phase will have been completed. This will be the installation of two large figures carved from oak. The figures will stand close to the stone semi-circular balustrade and will represent the Abbot and one of the canons. They will act as a focal point in this busy part of the grounds and their stance will direct the gaze towards the new garden.
The garden and statue will be dedicated on Sunday 5 September by The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Rev Rachel Trweek (patron of the Abbey 900 Festival 2017) who will dedicate the new statues on the tower of the church on the same day (Project Black Jack).