Petersfield Physic Garden 4869

Petersfield, England, Hampshire, East Hampshire

Brief Description

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. 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 time.

History

In 1987, the property was conveyed from Colonel John Bowen to the Hampshire Historic Buildings Trust, a corporate body, to hold on behalf of the Hampshire Gardens Trust.

Visitor Facilities

The site is open daily, except for Christmas. Admission is free. http://www.hgt.org.uk/

Detailed Description

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. It was formerly the garden of number 16 High Street, now occupied by a firm of solicitors.

With the agreement of John Bowen, who conveyed the site to the Hampshire Historic Buildings Trust in 1987, the Trust decided that the garden should have a 17th-century theme. This was 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 time. The title ‘Physic Garden' was stipulated by John Bowen and the garden contains nearly 100 species of herbs set out in geometrical beds.

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.

Features

Plant Environment

  • Herb Garden
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  • Garden Wall
  • Description: The three garden walls are considered to be original medieval walls.
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  • Knot Garden
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  • Topiary
  • Description: The topiary consists of clipped yews.
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  • Arch
  • Description: Wooden arches bearing roses and hops separate the orchard from the flower and vegetable beds.
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  • Orchard
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  • Flower Bed
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  • Office (featured building)
  • Description: There is a meeting room and office at the south end of the garden.
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  • Bed
  • Description: The garden contains nearly 100 species of herbs set out in geometrical beds.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: The north wall has examples of vines and fig trees. Outside the wall are two magnificent examples of Metasequoia trees (M. glypostroboides, Dawn Redwoods).
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The site is open daily, except for Christmas. Admission is free. http://www.hgt.org.uk/
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Petersfield
History

Detailed History

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.