Proposal

A Vision for the Future – the Heavenly Gardens proposal

Imagine Norwich’s ancient churchyards as a series of attractive gardens, full of people and activity:

  • groups of schoolchildren learning about their environment
  • young people learning horticultural skills
  • tourists being guided around
  • local residents relaxing amongst plants and works of art
What a change this would be from the present situation of largely unused, inaccessible and rather dull spaces around the churches.

The Heavenly Gardens proposal would develop and promote all the churchyards of Norwich city centre, collectively, as a green space resource, uniting the existing community effort and giving it the support it deserves.


Heavenly Gardens will enhance the setting of the medieval churches, many of which are Grade 1 Listed and comprise one of the finest collections in Europe. They are also a:
  • place for quiet enjoyment by residents and visitors
  • focus for community activity
  • contribution to the cultural life of the city
  • resource for environmental education
  • resource for horticultural skills training
  • valuable open space asset
Guided walk St Clements Amur Cork treeChurchyards could function as an interlinked botanic garden
Many unusual trees are already planted in the churchyards
Bolton Percy churchyard, Yorkshire illustrates what can be done.
Some examples of local art works suited to churchyards:

St Stephen's decorative railingsSt.Stephens Gate by Wolfgang & Heron

Koblenz Autumn colours Norwich Garden of FriendshipKoblenz Friendship Garden by Sarah Bristow & George Ishmael
Wood sculpture by Martin Pigg
It isn’t only the medieval churchyards that have potential for wider use. There are other churchyards such as the ground around the Cathedrals, the Octagon Chapel and Old Meeting House on Colegate and the Friends Meeting House on Upper Goat Lane, which have great historical interest.