The Compton Garden
The Compton Garden is a unique and peaceful place, commemorating Bishop Compton, Master of St Cross from 1669 – 1676. It lies within the Master’s Garden and was created in what had once been the Master’s vegetable garden. The Compton Garden was laid out in 1986, using plants originally imported from the New World at the time of Bishop Compton, who later became Bishop of London.
The Vice-President of Hampshire Gardens Trust at this time, the late Lady O’Neill of the Maine, was involved in the early days of the Garden. Her knowledge of St Cross and of Bishop Compton was a great assistance to Victoria Wakefield, also a member of the Trust, who designed the planting for the garden. Victoria is still the driving force behind the planning and planting of the garden, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 8 July 1986. Previously, she had opened Queen Eleanor’s Garden at the Great Hall in Winchester.
A new book,’The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty’ by John Crook celebrates the history of the Almshouse and Hospital and the 25th anniversary of the Compton Garden.
The general public is able to access the gardens as part of their admission to the Hospital for a small fee. These are as follows for 2011:
The Hospital is open during the winter months (1 November – 31 March) from 10.30am to 3.30pm.
In the summer months (1 April to 31 October) we are open from 9.30am to 5pm, and the tearooms from 10.30-4.30pm (closed 12.30-2.30pm)