Planning bid for garden dedicated to Katherine of Aragon

The Knot Garden at Buckden Towers

The Knot Garden at Buckden Towers. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Archives

Access to a garden dedicated to Katherine of Aragon will be improved for wheelchair users if a bid by Buckden Towers to build a paved walkway at the historic site is successful.

The historic towers building was used to hold the queen in exile on the instruction of her husband Henry VIII after the annulment of their marriage and the Knot Garden was dedicated to her when it was built as part of a restoration project at the towers, the former palace of the Bishop of Lincoln, dating back to the 12th century.

Now friends of Buckden Towers has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for listed building consent to install the walkway on gravelled paths in the Knotted Garden, which is a replica of the type of garden which would have been found at a small manor house from the Tudor period. 

Its application said: "The objective of this outline planning application is to obtain the necessary approval to build a paved walkway between the entrance gate at the south west corner of the garden to the existing raised terrace at its northern end.

"The purpose of the walkway is to enhance accessibility for persons in wheelchairs or buggies, as these forms of transport are difficult to push or pull over gravel."

It added: "The paved walkway will provide a hard surface link from the gateway to the terrace, enabling wheelchair users direct access to much of the garden, and on to the raised terrace, where the whole area can be comfortably viewed."

The friends group said the walkway, in natural stone, would not have any impact on Buckden Towers, a scheduled monument and Grade I listed building.

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Katherine of Aragon was confined at Buckden Towers in 1533-34 before being transferred to Kimbolton Castle where she died in 1536.

Work began on the Knot Garden, known as Queen Katherine's Garden, in 1992 and it is funded and maintained by volunteers.

The planning application said: "It is intended as a place for peaceful reflection and remembrance as well as delight.

"The main features of the garden are four square beds of knots around a central fountain, together with two smaller knots in front of the raised stone terrace. 

"There is a tunnel arbour along two sides leading to a raised mound and viewing platform, from which the knot patterns, the buildings of the Tudor Palace and the parish church can be viewed to advantage."