On the evening of Monday 30th July, the Friends of Hyde Abbey Garden held their annual open air picnic in the Garden. It was well attended by members who enjoyed a convivial evening and were very pleased to welcome Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, as their guest.

 Hyde Abbey Garden was constructed on the site of Hyde Abbey, Winchester, following excavations between 1997 and 1999 which revealed the high altar and graves thought to be those of King Alfred, his wife and son, a Lady Chapel and two side chapels. At a public meeting it was decided to create a community garden on the site and in 2003 the Garden was officially opened, by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, as Winchester City’s Jubilee project to mark 50 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Funding came from several organisations including Hampshire County Council, the Hampshire Gardens Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Winchester City Council and from many businesses and individuals.  

The Garden is maintained by the Friends, who were involved in raising part of the original finance, and who now hold regular gardening working parties and organise fund-raising events to purchase essential tools and supplies.

 Photograph: From left to right – Joanna Morgan secretary, Rose Burns city councillor and committee member, Steve Brine MP, Pam Underwood chairman, Beryl Dixon committee member.