The Lost Garden of Avon

In 2015, volunteer researchers studying the history of the Old Slaughterhouse made an exciting discovery on an 1851 Public Health Map. The map showed that the Yard where the Old Slaughterhouse sits, now a service yard, was once a beautiful garden complete with fruit trees and fountains. It could not be further from what we see today, a busy concrete service yard and car park.

Since making this discovery, Escape have been on a mission to bring the garden, nicknamed ‘the Lost Garden of Avon’, back to life! We have launched a great new sponsorship scheme where you can donate to support the redevelopment, be it though buying a hanging basket, through to supporting an apprentice or commissioning a piece of work.  To find out how you can help please see our ‘Lost Garden Sponsorship Brochure’.

Our next stage is to develop an exciting arts and heritage trail to the centre, so watch this space.

Art in the Yard

We are gradually transforming the concrete service yard.  To celebrate the opening of the building we commissioned artist Rachel Higgins to create our wonderful copper steer who sits proudly in his new Cowshed.  Artist Spencer Jenkins created the fabulous willow bauble, a favourite spot to sit in the garden.

The mural based on the history of Lost Garden site was created by artist Alisha Miller depicting the garden in its former glory.  ‘Debbie’s Wall’ is dedicated to our volunteer Debbie Cox, which features willow wings and ceramic butterflies created with our Paper Moon group, supported by artists Spencer Jenkins and Ros Ingram.

We also work closely with our volunteer gardener, Paul Mitchell, who has transformed our concrete space into a beautiful, idyllic, award winning garden.  In 2018 we won the Stratford in Bloom Chairman’s Trophy.  Well done Paul.

The Cowshed

We have also been fundraising to transform our outdoor space to further enhance what we can deliver to the community. We achieved this by building a structure, known as the Cowshed, which wraps around the building, and opened in August 2019.

We can fully seal off the extension, which gives us more space to deliver more activities to the community. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to this project, watch this space for the next exciting stages!

We must also thank our key funders who continue to support the development of the yard.  These include Warwickshire County Council, Big Lottery Community Fund, Tesco’s Bags of Help, Arts Council, Esmee Fairbairn, NFU Mutual.

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