The Town Council is responsible for the provision and upkeep of three Public Gardens within the town, The Pageant Gardens, Newland Gardens and The Paddock Garden and numerous areas of public open space.
In October 2005, Mr Alan Titchmarsh, the well known gardening celebrity, officially opened the first new public garden in Sherborne for 100 years commemorating 1300 years since the founding of Sherborne Abbey and town.
The garden was designed by a local plantsman and subsequently landscaped by The Company of Landscapers under the direction of Alan Dodge and supplied with plants by Castle Gardens, came to fruition after eight months of hard work. The original concept for the garden was first mooted well over ten years ago. It is essentially a garden intended for the people of Sherborne and compliments the Pageant Garden at the opposite end of the town, which was laid out to celebrate the twelfth centenary of the town.
The residents of Sherborne were involved in the creation of the garden from start to finish, from the competition to produce the design, to the public vote to choose the name. Also the people, businesses and organisations of Sherborne were invited to donate or sponsor seats, litter bins, trees, shrubs, plants, etc. The sundial and gates were donated privately and the cost of the patio area was provided by the Simon Digby (Sherborne) Memorial Trust, and the stones for the new southern wall by Sherborne Castle Estates. Further funding was provided by the Sherborne Society, the local branch of CPRE, Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council.
The Garden is available for hire for the performances of plays and small concerts by arrangement with the Town Council (01935-812807) at a rate of £32 per day/or part day.
Paddock Gardens Booking Form
The site of the Pageant Gardens in Digby Road, previously Half Moon Field, was given to the Town by Mr F J B Wingfield Digby in memory of his father, Mr J K D Wingfield Digby who had died in 1904, and it was opened as a public garden on 5 September 1906. The money needed for the laying out of the formal garden was raised by the Pageant of 1905. This was held in the grounds of the Old Castle and celebrated the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the town and bishopric in 705.
Today the gardens are still formally laid out, the bandstand was refurbished in 1996 and is used by the Sherborne Town Band as a venue for very popular summer concerts. The pond was designed to re-create as far as possible the original design.
The Gardens and the Bandstand are available for hire on a daily basis by arrangement with the Town Council (01935-812807) at a rate of £32 per day/or part day.
Pageant Gardens Booking Form
Situated in Newland this garden was previously known as Victoria Park. It was the site of the old Borough Court of Newland with its own market cross, dating back at least to 1383. There are also historical references to it being the site of St Swithin's Fair, having a pond, a pump, being a timber yard and the supposed site of a church or chapel.