The College Garden was once the garden of the Infirmarer of the great medieval monastery, established in the 11th century. It is the largest and most important garden at the Abbey. 'College' here refers to the old meaning of the word: a community of clergy.
To the right of the entrance is the new Herb Garden, created to celebrate both the lives of the monks who used to live here and the founding of Westminster School in 1560 by Elizabeth I. The area is divided into four wicker-edged beds which contain dye plants, vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs.
The garden is dominated by two plane trees at the centre, planted in 1850. Other trees of interest include quince trees, step-over apple trees at the entrance and a white mulberry by the fountain. The rose garden celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1952.
The garden is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but OGSW is the only occasion when it can be seen at the weekend. During July and August there are free band concerts here on Wednesdays and in the summer holidays, children's workshops.