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The Garden is Currently Closed for Repairs

The period garden, at the rear of the Town Hall, was a painstakingly designed and created Tudor garden as a jewel in the centre of the town. The quarter acre garden, designed by BDC landscape architect Jenny Mugford, has provided a true community asset.


There are three sections - physic, herb and fruit. Its possibilities are limitless. It enhances the existing heritage centre at the Town Hall, inspires schoolchildren doing projects on Tudor times, and teaches us all a little about life in the 16th century.


Children watched fascinated as craftsman William Wall created the trellis out of oak trees and Malcom Bendall put up wattle fencing. The planting of the garden was done by Dave Jepson, but the idea behind it all came from BDC landscape officer Melvyn Crow. He suggested that, as change of use planning approval from the renovation of the Town Hall was dependent on the landscaping of the garden, that it would be more imaginative to create a garden in period, rather than a modern one.

 

The Town Council saw the benefits of the idea, and it cost around £10,000, but it will provide many benefits for the community - far more than a modern landscaped garden.


When the Town Council first moved into the 16th century timber framed Town Hall the garden was derelict, covered in weeds, saplings and brambles. It is now transformed with traditional seats, a vine covered arbour and hundreds of plants. Everything about the garden has been meticulously researched and no plants are to be found that would not have been growing in a Tudor garden.

Sources: Witham Town Council; Janet Gyford.

Timber framing of Witham Town Hall.

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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