The reconstructed herb garden at Norton Priory

During the late summer and early autumn in 2003 the reconstruction of mediaeval herb garden was undertaken at Norton Priory, as part of a new BBC TV series on "Hidden Gardens". The garden now complements the monastic remains at Norton. Although no trace was found of an actual herb garden during the archaeological excavations, there would have been one at Norton. From the evidence gained from other monastic sites, from old herb garden designs and the help of many experts, a plan of what a mediaeval herb garden would probably have looked like was created. The various herbs which were available in the mediaeval period were also extensively researched, including the uses to which they would have been put.

The result can now be seen. As authentic a copy of a monastic herb garden as it is possible to have is now at the Norton Priory Museum.

The first spring after planting

Each bed of herbs contains ones which were believed to be beneficial for certain types of disease, or which were used for culinary purposes.

Some herbs were believed to be good for parts of the body which the herb resembled, hence "lungwort" was believed to be good for lung diseases.

View looking north-west.


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