Diocese of St Davids: Press Release

The Secret Garden comes back to life

 

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There’s a secret lying hidden at the bottom of the Bishop’s garden – and it’s about to be revealed.

In its heyday, the Bishop’s Palace in Abergwili, near Carmarthen, overlooked what commentators of the time described as “a noble estate” that had been the residence of the Bishops of St Davids since 1536.

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That was in the 1850s. Since then what’s become known as the Bishop’s Park has seen fluctuating fortunes. The building is now the county museum and the gardens left largely to Mother Nature

But now the park’s trustees are embarking on a five-year, multi-million pound project to restore the grounds to their former glory.

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And the centrepiece of the story is a walled garden which Trust volunteers have started to restore with help from initial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Bishop’s Park restoration is part of a wider Tywi Gateway initiative which aims to open up the entire Tywi Valley for leisure and tourism, including a cycle path all the way to Llandeilo

And even at this early stage, they’ve uncovered a treasure trove of history going back hundreds of years.

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Last weekend (March 11), the Bishop herself paid a visit to see what exactly was going on at the bottom of her garden and pronounced herself well pleased with what she saw.

The scheme remains subject to further lottery funding but, given a fair wind and the backing it seeks, the Towy Gateway – and the Bishop’s Garden – will be restored in about five years.

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