Canterbury’s Franciscan Gardens reopen with new admission fees for visitors
The popular Canterbury city center gardens, closed for 18 months, have reopened to the public – but those hoping to enjoy the tranquility now have to pay £ 6 per person.
The Franciscan Gardens – accessible from Stour Street – were previously free to enter, with city workers, tourists and residents taking regular breaks in the historic setting.
Today, as a result of expensive restoration works, a new entrance fee has been introduced.
Those wishing to benefit from an annual pass for unlimited sightseeing will have to shell out £ 50 each.
The gardens have been improved over the past year and a half, with a 17th century arch and section of wall stabilized at a cost of £ 45,000.
The charity in charge of restoring the site said income generated by visitors would be reinvested in the gardens, supporting conservation work and allowing new features to be added.
Adult tickets cost £ 6, while the fee for children aged 5-17 is £ 3.
Children under 5 are free.
A family ticket with two adults costs £ 15, while a family ticket with one adult costs £ 9.
Francesca Hollow, Head of Tourist Attractions, said: “After 18 months of hard work restoring the gardens, it’s wonderful to invite visitors to discover this hidden gem right in the city center.
“The gardens have something for everyone, from a bee-themed exploration trail for families, to a space for contemplation in the chapel.
“It’s also a great place for local workers to have their lunch away from the hustle and bustle of the main street.
“We hope the Gardens will become a popular destination for residents and visitors to Canterbury.”
Those who purchase tickets can do so online or by visiting the new entry store on rue Saint-Pierre.
In the future, it is hoped that ticket sales will help fund further restoration work, including the renovation of an original Victorian vineyard.
The gardens – which house the Greyfriars Chapel – are of great historical significance, the site being the first Franciscan settlement in the UK in 1224.
The chapel is the only remaining building of the first English Franciscan convent built in 1267, 43 years after the installation of the first brothers in Canterbury, during the lifetime of Saint Francis of Assisi.
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