Park and gardens
Enjoy our restored Monks' Garden, observe the site from our viewing platform and check out our ancient Mulberry tree.
Part of the restoration work at Lesnes Abbey Woods is the recreation of the Monk's Garden. The Monks at Lesnes would have had one of the area's only infirmaries, where they would have healed the sick. As part of this work, they would have grown a selection of herbs to ward off diseases and heal injuries. The plants grown in the monks’ garden today represent a selection of what would have been grown by those running the infirmary. These include medicinal herbs such as sage (claimed to cleanse the body of "venom and pestilence" and whiten teeth), betony (used to cure many things including fear!), hyssop (used to ward away chest infections and to soothe bruising) and cumin (used to soothe skin and eye complaints).
There is an old Mulberry tree north of the ruins. This very old tree is said to be one of the mulberries commissioned to be planted by King James I, who wanted to set up his own English silk industry. However, silk moth caterpillars feed on the white mulberry and the trees the King was sold were black mulberries.
The viewing platform (situated on top of the hill between the Abbey and play area) provides an amazing view of the London skyline. From this vantage point you can see The Shard and many other iconic London buildings. Local metalsmith Heather Burrell designed the window arches and if you look closely there is a poem engraved on the frame that was written by members of the local community of Bexley, Thamesmead and Belvedere.
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