Originally a series of orchards and market-gardens carved out from the property of the Augustinian priory, Wadham College Gardens have been significantly modified over the course of the last four hundred years. Gardens were first created under Warden Wilkins (1648-59) as a series of formal rectangles laid out around a (then fashionable) mound which was surmounted by a figure of Atlas.
Wadham’s extensive gardens provide a wonderful environment for fellows and students as well as visitors. From the formal front quad, walk past the Chapel into the magnificent Fellows’ Garden; an ideal place for rest, relaxation or quiet reading under the boughs of one of the mature trees. Surrounding the Fellows’ Garden are the Warden’s Garden, the Fellows’ Private Garden and the Cloister Garden (originally the cemetery).
By the McCall MacBain Graduate Centre is the College’s newest garden, the Barbara Naylor Garden, a terrace displaying mostly scented plants and shrubs, set close to the Back Quad, the JCR Quad and the White Scented Garden.
Wadham’s collection of trees includes a holm oak, silver pendent lime, tulip tree, golden yew, purple beech, cedar of Lebanon, gingko, giant redwood, tree of heaven, incense cedar, Corsican pine, magnolia and a rare Chinese gutta-percha. Among other curiosities are an eighteenth-century ‘cowshed’ set into the remnants of the Royalist earthworks of 1642, and a sculpture of a seated Warden Bowra by John Doubleday.