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Medieval herb garden
Monastic Houses all had herb gardens for
- · Dying
- · Strewing (scattering sweet smelling herbs)
- · Culinary use
- · Medicinal purposes
The present garden at Norton Priory was made as part of the BBC’s ‘Hidden Gardens’ programme. Many of the herbs were chosen according to their use in the middle ages to treat common diseases. From analysis of the skeletons in the museum's collections we known many of these diseases afflicted the people who lived at Norton Priory and included:
Tuberculosis (Symptoms: Coughing blood, fever, sweats, large lymph nodes, boils, scabs).
Leprosy (Symptoms: Blindness, scabs, swollen feet, clawed hands, gangrene)
Paget’s Disease (Symptoms: Pain, soft bones, fractures, swollen skull)
Rickets (Symptoms: Nonfatal bone pain and teeth defects).
The garden was planted using plans from other monastic sites. There is room between each bed for one canon to kneel and another to walk behind.
Some of the Herbs in each bed are:
Culinary Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, coriander, fennel, sage, parsley
Dye Plants: Woad (for blue), Madder (for red), Weld (for yellow)
Strewing Plants: Mugwort, woodruff, lavender, mint, lemon balm
Signature Plants (for specific diseases): Lungwort (for lungs), lesser celadine (for piles), herb robert (for head wounds)
Pagets: Fennel, mint, clary sage
Tuberculosis: Coriander, garlic, lovage, elecampane
Rickets: Comfrey, valerien, vervain, rue, anise
Leprosy: Juniper, sage, lemon balm, hyssop, marshmallow
Where can you find us?
Norton Priory Museum & Gardens,
Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn,
Cheshire WA7 1SX
**Please note: If you are navigating with sat-nav, use our ADDRESS not the postcode - it will make finding us easier! Registered Charity Number 504870. Registered as a company in England Number 1232182.
Phone: 01928 569895
FAX: 01928 589266
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