** Update 11 October 2021 **
The Heritage Open Days for 2021 have been and gone. Over the two Saturdays in September we welcomed more than 320 visitors and there were others who came during the intervening week. Chris Wright made a video of the two Open Days and you can view it by clicking on the image below.
Chris also made a video of The Tasting Garden in advance of the Open Days based on this year’s theme of Edible England. You can still view the video by clicking on the image below.
The Storey Gardens are a hidden oasis of peace and tranquillity in the centre of Lancaster. Admission is free and access is through The Storey building or from the entrance in Castle Park opposite the castle.
The Friends of the Storey Gardens, formed in 2013, are working with Lancaster City council to restore the historic Storey Gardens. The gardens were reopened to the public on the 26th March 2018 following completion of work to secure and improve access, made possible by a grant from the Lancashire Environmental Fund. Further funding is required to restore “The Tasting Garden”, created in 1998 by Mark Dion, an internationally renowned environmental artist.
The Storey Gardens are attached to The Storey building, which was bequeathed to the city by Victorian philanthropist, Thomas Storey, to promote science, art and education. As you approach the gardens from The Storey you are faced with Georgian brick walls. This section of the gardens is formed on two levels with an impressive copper beech forming the centre piece of the space. A flight of Georgian steps leading down to Meeting House Lane have, in the past, been used to site temporary art installations, to be viewed by the many pedestrians passing between the railway station and town. The gardens are surrounded by trees creating a tranquil space in an urban setting.
The western section “inner garden” holds an internationally significant artwork, The Tasting Garden, created by American artist, Mark Dion. It is an orchard, an artwork and a garden. The Tasting Garden contains old varieties of fruit trees, paths laid out in the form of branches of a tree and a small folly containing traditional gardening equipment. It is surrounded by wonderful herbaceous borders on all sides. Another set of Georgian steps in this section of the gardens forms an alternative entrance from Meeting House Lane. Please note that this entrance is only open on special occasions.
Since formation, the Friends have been working to restore and enhance the gardens. An important part of our work is maintaining the gardens to make a haven for wildlife. We aim to raise awareness of the location and history of the gardens.
Please look around this website to read more about the artwork, the garden and its history. If there is anything you can do to support our work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can also take a virtual tour of the gardens thanks to our friend Chris Wright made in 2020. Chick here to read more.