This peaceful retreat garden is a new and welcome addition to the historic grounds of the world renowned Stonyhurst College. Adjoining this is a restoration project of an early 19th century water mill which for decades had stood roofless and abandoned until it’s recent conversion to a religious education centre and retreat.
The journey is created through a series of connected spaces each having their own characteristics and purposes. It starts with a narrow lane with a glimpse of a sculpture through a slice in the hedge, signifying a path and a journey to be embarked upon. This then leads into a transition space with the use of simple shapes, symmetry and a grid of uniform trees is meant to cleanse the mind and prepare it for reflection. Through another gap in the boundary this route opens up into a large seating area with a square of pleached trees and a central focal point. Spaces are enclosed by sandstone walls and hedging to create an introspective sequence free from any external distractions. As you enter the final space of this series it opens up to a large meadow with a clear path cut through it and a bold backdrop of Wester Red Cedars.