College garden occupies a site that has been under continuous cultivation for more than 900 years. It was here that the Abbey’s first Infirmary garden was established in the eleventh-century. The Infirmarer, a senior monk of the Abbey, had care of the sick and elderly members of the monastic community as well as administering a dispensary for local people. He would have directed the planting and cultivation of the various herbs needed for medicinal purposes in the Infirmary. Some of these herbs, such as rosemary and fennel, are still grown in the garden today.
While the original garden was principally an area in which to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables, it also gave the convalescing monks a place in the open air for relaxation and gentle exercise. Today, the garden still offers a tranquil space for the residents and staff at the Abbey. It has been open to the public for a relatively short period of its history.