Garden Highlight: St Peter’s Churchyard, St Albans

St Peter’s Churchyard, in St Albans, is a space for people to reflect and remember. Church manager, Moira Dean tells us more...

© P Seabright - Tree of Life sculpture

What is in your green space?

Our churchyard is a peaceful oasis on the edge of the town centre, with a rich variety of plants and trees. There are two gardens of remembrance within the grounds. Here the ashes of past parishioners are buried.

In the ‘Garden of Hope’ we have the ‘Hope Stone’ and the ‘Tree of Life’ sculpture. The Hope Stone is engraved with the phrase 'God is with us so there is hope' and illustrates the gift of life. While the Tree of Life is a contemporary piece, with each leaf inscribed with a name and dates of someone who are buried in the garden.

There is also a wild flower meadow, a small orchard with local apple trees and the ‘Story Teller’s Circle,’ a place where people can gather and hear stories.

How does your garden add to community life and wellbeing?

The garden is a tranquil space for people to think and relax. It is well used by local people, families and visitors – many of whom enjoy the chance to sit quietly in a beautiful green space. Local office workers and school children often come to the garden on their lunchbreaks. The churchyard is criss-crossed by public footpaths and is a popular route into the town centre.

Who looks after your garden?

Recently restored, it is cared for by our own volunteer gardeners and the City and District Council.

What should visitors look out for this September?

Visitors should look out for the Garden of Hope space, the orchard, the storyteller’s circle and the wild flower meadow. There are information panels around the churchyard giving details about the history of the church, the flora and fauna, historical memorials and the Garden of Hope.

St Peter’s Churchyard is just one of the green spaces we’re excited about this Heritage Open Days. To find a garden or green space you can explore, be sure to check out our directory which will go live in mid-July. And for a preview of other places within the garden theme see our previous post 'Celebrating the English Garden'.