Queen Eleanor’s Garden is a re-creation, by Dr Sylvia Landsberg, of an enclosed medieval garden and is named after Queen Eleanor of Provence and her daughter-in-law Queen Eleanor of Castile, who would have walked there and used it as their private retreat.
In medieval times gardens offered pleasure, repose and refreshment to the senses as well as food and medicine. Queen Eleanor’s Garden is an accurate example of such a garden and features turf seats, bay hedges, a fountain, tunnel arbour and many beautiful herbs and flowers of the time.
Many of the plants used in medieval gardens had symbolic meanings, representing personal or religious virtues, including holly, ivy and bay, which represented the ideal of faithfulness, and roses, columbine, and strawberry plants which represented aspects of Christian spiritual philosophy.
Today’s small peaceful garden oasis was opened by the Queen Mother as part of the Domesday 900 celebrations. You may have seen it featured in the BBC's Royal Gardens programme presented by Alan Titchmarsh.