Location: Fulham, London
Website: Fulham Palace website
Fulham Palace is a historic house and garden, formerly the home of the Bishop of London, and now managed by Fulham Palace Trust. The site is open 7 days a week free of charge to the public. The house has a museum, a series of historic rooms, café and is a popular wedding venue.
There have been three major restoration projects carried out on the house and garden since 2006 and they are entering into the fourth and final phase including the creation of new garden spaces.
Fulham Palace is one of the earliest botanic gardens in the UK. In the early 1500s Bishop Grindal introduced species of plants from his travels in Europe. Bishop Compton, resident at the Palace in the late 17th century, was amongst the first people to sponsor plant hunters to travel to the Americas and send back plants – making the Fulham Palace garden one of the most well known in the country at that time. Throughout his time at Fulham, Compton was a close associate of the first landscape gardener in England, George London; and also John Ray, one of England’s earliest botanists. As part of the phase III restoration project (2017-19) many of Bishop Compton’s botanical introductions have been replanted.
Today we are left with an 18th century landscape design and layout, including a walled garden, created by Bishop Terrick.
The garden is 13 acres including the 2.5 acre walled garden which includes a parterre, orchard, vegetable beds and wall and arch trained fruit. There is a glasshouse vinery which is used for propagating and containerising stock, plant displays and growing glasshouse crops. Organic growing techniques are used to grow all crops which are harvested and sold to the public.
There is a planted up Tudor courtyard and a main drive with borders including a drought themed border.
There is a woodland area and numerous long grass areas that are being managed to increase biodiversity. Wildflower seed is sown annually to enhance the wildflower long grass areas. Further measures are being taken to continue to enhance wildlife habitats following the recommendations from four biodiversity surveys that were completed in 2021.
Fulham Palace’s garden provides a wide range of horticultural opportunities that trainees will be involved in across the 12-month placement. These seasonal tasks include propagation, plant production, vegetable growing, grassland maintenance, tree care, landscaping, composting, planting, turf management and organic pest management.
In spring and summer, the vegetable garden is a wonderful gardening experience. The garden grows organic produce and cut flowers to harvest which generates an income. In the autumn and winter season the tasks continue to be very horticulturally interesting; mulching beds, apple tree grafting, hedge cutting and pruning. Trainees will be fully trained on all machinery and equipment.
Placements available: One
Staff numbers: 3 full time professional horticulturists, 1 HBGTP trainee and 2 full time garden apprentices.
Ease of access: London Underground; district line to Putney Bridge Station – the Palace is a 15 minute walk through Bishop’s Park. Putney Station is 15 minutes from Waterloo Station. The Palace is a 25 minute walk down Putney High Street and across Putney Bridge. Further directions are available on the Fulham Palace website.
Accommodation: No dedicated accommodation available.