.............. are located within a stones throw of its medieval castle, and access to them is via the rather aptly named Bread and Meat Close.
These hidden hedge gardens from the mid 1840s are rare survivors of the Victorian era. Similar gardens were once found in many of our urban areas, but very few survive today. They were mainly used by artisans who lived above their business premises in the centre of the town with just a simple backyard and nowhere to grow flowers and vegetables. Originally there were 32 gardens here, but only 16 survive today. Some of the land was sold off during the Edwardian period to build new housing. Initially the plots were rented, but by the 1860s they were sold freehold to the various families, which actually contributed to their survival today.
Apart from all of the wonderful flowers in the gardens, a real pleasure for us was being able to visit the small brick built Grade 11 listed Victorian summerhouses which were filled with lots of interesting artefacts.
Come in, close the door behind you, and light the fire. On a cold autumn day this must have been a really cosy place to take a break from working in the garden, enjoy a rest and make a cup of tea. Did you spot the old carpet sweeper? I recall my mother having one when I was still knee high to a grasshopper. Everybody called them a Ewbank which was the name of the firm that made them. Ours was eventually replaced when my father purchased the very latest electric vacuum cleaner for my mother from a door-to-door salesman. Lots of bees were enjoying visiting these Eryngiums - sea holly, which comes in several shades from silver grey to cobalt blue.
If you look very carefully at the pink and yellow Alstroemeria - Peruvian lily, you might spot this.........