Gardens



Hidden within the ancient ramparts and protected by the moat, 14 acres of stunning, tranquil gardens await you.

Wander along and around the many herbaceous borders, savour the scent of roses in the parterre, admire the views from the top of the ramparts, meander through the Arboretum, admire the reflection of the Cathedral in one of the well pools, explore what is growing in the Community Garden and, finally, take a moment to recharge your batteries in the contemporary Garden of Reflection.

There is evidence that a garden existed here even before Bishop Jocelyn began work on building the Palace c.1206. Over the years the gardens have changed as successive bishops have added their legacy and today it has Grade II listed garden status due to its special historic nature.

In 2016, the gardens were acknowledged by the Royal Horticultural Society, by being made a “Partner Garden”. This status is awarded to gardens of “outstanding and exceptionally high standards of planting and design” - a great achievement for the team working under head gardener James Cross.

Included in your admission ticket is a choice of daily guided tours of the Palace & Gardens.

The Wells Gardens

Once described as “a medow (sic) plot” by the traveller John Leland writing in the mid-16th century this area has been transformed into a peaceful space with...

Garden of Reflection

Within this peaceful space you can rest a moment and take in the contemporary and restful planting of grasses and perennials, and the peaceful glade of silve...

Arboretum

The Arboretum was designed by Sir Harold Hillier for Bishop Bickersteth and created in 1977 in commemoration of HM the Queen’s 25th Jubilee. It replaced part...

South Garden

Characterised by wide open lawns, specimen trees (such as  Mulberry, Tulip and Indian Bean trees), flamboyant climbers, bold and luxuriant planting of shrubs...

East Garden

This is the place to enjoy the scent of roses and appreciate the huge diversity of hardy perennials flowering from summer and well into the Autumn.

The Community Garden

Originally the Kitchen Garden, it is now home to vegetable, fruit and flower beds and a Victorian-style greenhouse, and provides a space for volunteers and c...

The Dragon’s Lair

Legend has it that in the 13th century, Somerset was terrorised by a frightful dragon who liked to eat milkmaids and other unsuspecting villagers.  Bishop Jo...

Bishop’s Palace celebrates RHS ‘Partner Garden’ status

The status is awarded to gardens of “outstanding and exceptionally high standards of planting and design”

Please see below for details of current and future events in the Gardens:


Snowdrop Celebration

24th - 25th February

This February, for the first time, The Bishop’s Palace will be holding a “Snowdrop Celebration”.

Rare Plant Fair

11th March

Are you a keen gardener or horticultural enthusiast? If so, you’ll want to join us for this perfect opportunity to find rare and unusual plants from a selec...