Pococke Garden

Pococke GardenThis is a part of the former Priory House garden and apart from the trees, of which the most notable is the Pococke tree, the planting dates to the 1990s. The garden is an irregular shape and does retain something of the earlier nineteenth century character of lawn and informal borders, albeit with much new planting.

The garden gains interest from the structures and walls of the North West boundary and the northern wall which incorporates part of the old city wall and provides a sheltered planting area. It includes a sundial created as the result of a competition in 1995 which attracted twelve competition entries including one from Madrid. 

Planting includes subtropical specimens in the sheltered area below the south facing wall, with Trachycarpus (Fan Palm) and  Tetrapanax  (Rice-paper Plant  from Taiwan, with large showy leaves), and a recently replanted scented island bed. There are further subtropical plants in the shrub/herbaceous border on the east side, including a pair of recently planted Lyonothamnus floribundus aspleniifolius (a small tree with ferny evergreen leaves and red stringy bark.

The Pococke tree, an Oriental Plane (Platanus hispanica) The impressive Pococke tree, an Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis) thought to be the inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky is on a slight mound which may be formed from its roots. The tree was named after Edward Pococke (1604-91), seventeenth century Regius Professor of Hebrew (1648-91) and believed to be the planter of the plane having collected the seed in 1636, although this has yet to be confirmed. The tree although not particularly tall has a girth of around nine metres.

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