St Hilda's Gardens
St Hilda’s riverside grounds have a hallowed history stretching back to the Middle Ages. Edmund Rich, the first Oxford Don to be made a saint, used to wander through Cowley fields. Today, our gardens are still a haven away from the bustle of the city centre. The wildlife-rich grounds are full of year-round seasonal colour. You can learn more about St Hilda's Gardens, past and present development with this film with our Garden Designer, Walter Sawyer.
Our Suffragette Border in Hall Garden was created to mark the 100th anniversary of the first women winning the right to vote. Our new border adds colour and scent to a relaxed and quiet outdoor space for College members and guests. In the summer months, it is full of suffragette colours with purple and white plants, including asters, erigeron (the darkest of all dunkelstealles), penstemon (sour grapes), anenomes, and clematises. Some evergreen plants will give year-round colour.
The wall flower bed at the end of Hall Garden has been developed as our Blossom Border, to honour the Japanese connection already present in the Prunus mume and hawthorn trees. We have added hydrangea, anenomes, daphnes, and wisteria. Our riverside walk outside South Building is full of seasonal colour.
Our rose garden was created in memory of Winifred Moberly, Principal of St Hilda's from 1919 - 1928, by the Old Students' Association. The bird bath in the rose garden is engraved with her initials, WHM. The garden was restored and replanted in 2011, thanks to a gift from our alumna, Margaret Bliss, née Massey Stewart, (Biochemistry, 1951).
Students at St Hilda’s are delighted by the new gardens, which offer an oasis of peace and calm. The new Suffragette Border also provides a link to the College’s heritage, which we are all so proud of. We are particularly pleased that the Hall Gardens include British wildflowers that encourage bees and butterflies and support biodiversity.