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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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The Garden

The Garden at Lambeth Palace has been a private garden since the 12th century and is the oldest continuously cultivated garden in London.

Shortly after his enthronement in 1783, Archbishop Moore initiated substantial alterations to give the garden a less formal structure that included curved walkways and belts of trees which includes the layout of pathways and the landscape contours that exist today.

In 1901 Archbishop Frederick Temple gave nine acres of land from the east side of the garden on an indefinite lease to the people of Lambeth to form Archbishop's Park This park next door is maintained by Lambeth Council.

Today the site of Lambeth Palace covers around 13 acres of which the Garden takes up just over 10 acres. The Garden forms part of the Archbishop's ministry and is used by his family, staff and visitors as well as many different organisations and charities.

The Palace and Garden are maintained and owned by the Church Commissioners for England. There are two full-time gardeners and one part-time gardener. Volunteer gardeners also help with routine maintenance work in the garden for a few hours each week.  If you are a keen gardener and would like to offer a regular commitment as a volunteer, please get in touch with the Head Gardener (email: Volunteers' hours are Wednesday and/or Thursday 10am-3pm, with a break for lunch.

The garden is maintained using organic principles wherever possible.

View photographs of the garden in its different seasons.

Foxgloves in the Garden, May 2012