MONKS WALK - LICHFIELD

 

 

 


For further information please ring me (Sarah) on 01543 473222.
Location: Lichfield Campus The Friary Lichfield (behind the Library)

THE PROJECT - THE MONKS WALK
The Monks Walk is a garden area located within the vicinity of the Staffordshire University – Lichfield Campus and Lichfield Library and the public has free access at all times.
A Restoration Project was commenced in 2003 when The Monks Walk Group was formed to raise funds and to motivate a group of volunteers to work on the improvements to the garden area. Over the past 6 years the appearance of the Walk has been greatly improved with the paths restored and sections of the herbaceous borders planted.
Since 2006 students from Queens Croft School have used the area as a teaching facility and worked with the volunteers to create a ‘Nature Area’. The Monks Walk is becoming a recognised asset to the heritage of Lichfield and benefits all the inhabitants who care to visit this quiet, reflective space.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The historical evidence suggests that the garden was a part of a wider area originally occupied by the Franciscan Friary site. Information has been obtained from Lichfield Record Office including the 1884 OS map showing the route of the path and layout for the borders. It may have been part of a former garden layout when the area was part of the property owned by Sir Richard Cooper, whose estate was given to the City of Lichfield in 1920 ‘for the permanent use and benefit of the citizens’.
The Monks’ Walk became part of The Friary School in the 1920’s and was subsequently owned by Staffordshire Education Authority.
‘The Garden Club’ founded in 1949 records that The Monks’ Walk had “been allowed to get into a positive jungle of herbaceous plants” and volunteers cleared the garden & replanted “because we thought that these (…the gardens..) would lose their special character if planted on the ‘public garden’ plan.”
The site became used as the main Lichfield Library and College until the creation of Staffordshire University, Lichfield Campus in 2003.
References to the garden from the 1920’s: ‘Hyacinths and Haricot Beans’-
Friary School Memories 1892 – 1992“The Monks’ Walk was a special place for the children of the Preparatory Department. Planted with brightly coloured herbaceous plants (by Mr Beauchamp), this elongated horse-shoe walk was where the younger children would play, boys on one side and girls on the other, and as Michael Pyatt recalled, they were never allowed to mix. The Monks Walk was always used for a special purpose just before easter, when an Easter Egg Hunt was organised for the Kindergarten.”
“The Monks walk was full of bushes and shrubs – herbaceous perennials I suppose – and in Spring there were hundreds of daffodils.”
“At the bottom of the walk, at the curve of the horseshoe, there was a small wood, which was quite lovely.”
“ A splendid show of brilliantly coloured herbaceous plants in the ‘Monks’ Walk.”
“The garden is part of Lichfields educational in addition to historical heritage”The work at the Monks Walk is a continuous programme of new projects and general maintenance, organised and run by the volunteers. Currently two sections of the main border have been planted to illustrate the changing character of herbaceous borders through history -19c Victorian and 18c ‘mingle planting’.