Bishop's Park comes back to life
Forgotten park transformed into wildlife-friendly meadows and gardens.…
Where once a neglected patch of weeds greeted visitors to Carmarthenshire Museum, a beautiful new, flower-filled garden now welcomes people to the Bishop's Park, which has been formally opened by Carmarthenshire-born broadcaster Huw Edwards.
The park and gardens have been the private pleasure grounds of the Bishops of St Davids from 1541 to 1978 when the former Bishop’s Palace became home to Carmarthenshire Museum.
The four-year, £2m project, undertaken by Ymddiriedolaeth Drws i’r Dyffryn – Tywi Gateway Trust has transformed a previously neglected public open space and created a new café and learning space in the once derelict outbuildings with support from a wide range of funders including the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Carmarthenshire County Council.
The centrepiece of the scheme is the restored formal garden at the entrance to the park which has been returned to how it was when the then Bishop, John Jenkinson, designed it in the 1830s.
There’s also a new woodland garden. Comfortable wooden seating is dotted along the paths alongside colourful interpretation panels. Adventurous visitors can now access the rare floodplain meadow across a wheelchair accessible footbridge. Regular tours explain the site’s 800 years of history and guide visitors around the park and into the Bishop’s former walled garden, with its heritage apple trees.
The Trust plans to make further improvements and manage the site to a high standard over the coming years. It hopes to run a wide range of activities and events from keeping fit, to learning about growing and gardening, to coming together for events such as the Bishop’s Park Show.
Louise Austin, Trust Manager, said, “We are thrilled to be celebrating the successful completion of our restoration project. We have managed to bring on board a fantastic group of funders, supporters and local volunteers without whom it would simply not have been possible to restore the park and gardens to their former glory. so that Bishop’s Park is finally getting the recognition that this historic site deserves.”