The Hospital of St Cross, Winchester; tranquility in troubled times

The Medieval Hospital of St Cross nestles in water meadows beside the River Itchen and is one of England’s oldest almshouses. The tranquil, walled Master’s Garden, created in the late 17th century by Bishop Compton, now contains colourful herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses, interesting trees and a large fish pond while the Compton Garden has unusual plants of the type he imported when Bishop of London. Enjoy this calming visit to a very special space;

More detail


The Master’s Garden is named after the celebrated botanist and horticulturalist Bishop Henry Compton who, as Master of St Cross in the late 17th century, created a garden here. It includes a wide range of plants with flowering interest throughout the year. There are colourful herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses, interesting trees and a large fish pond. The Compton Garden, also named in his memory, was created in 1986 and is planted with the type of rare and unusual plants that he imported from America for his garden at Fulham Palace when he was Bishop of London from 1675-1713.


The Master’s Garden is usually open to the public throughout the year, as well as one day per year for the National Garden Scheme. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and the risk to the elderly residents who live on the site, the gardens are currently closed.  However, the Hospital of St Cross hope to welcome visitors again in the coming months when it is safe to do so and will announce the opening date on their website.

For more about this garden click here

If you enjoyed this content please consider making a donation to help us continue to support our nursing and health beneficiaries.




Don’t miss a thing

Sign up to hear more about gardens, events and our
activities throughout the year

By completing this form, you confirm that you are aged 18 years or over and that you are happy to receive emails from the National Garden Scheme in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share your details with anyone else without your express permission.



Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
Donor 8
Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
Donor 11 £80,000
Donor 12 £281,000
Donor 13 £260,000