St Albans Cathedral Precinct


Sumpter Yard reinstates the historic walled garden approach to St Albans Cathedral. It celebrates the monastic heritage of a productive landscape of fruit trees and medicinal herbs, as part of the wider ambitious holistic precinct masterplan vision of diversity, biodiversity and heritage.


The rejuvenation of Sumpter Yard is inspired by our research in the Cathedral’s extensive archive. This provided evidence of a former productive landscape of interlocking walled gardens, laid out with espaliered fruit trees, vines, herbs and vegetables. The scheme reflects the desire to enhance biodiversity and frames the Cathedral’s commitment to enhancing their reputation as an outstanding place of welcome and hospitality. The design references the historic character and materiality of St Albans, responding both to the grain of the place and to the day to day requirements of the Cathedral as it continues to actively and imaginatively engage the community. It is the intention that in time and incrementally the entire Cathedral Precinct will be rejuvenated, with a masterplan inspired by stakeholder engagement, archive research and local community involvement.




PROJECT INFO

Client St Albans Cathedral
Location St Albans, Hertfordshire
Date 2017 – ongoing
Area 6.5ha
Trees planted/proposed 17
Awards
2020/21 RIBA Shortlisted for East Award  
2020 Scottish Design Award
2020 Shortlisted for Edinburgh Architectural Association Ambassador Award
2021 RIBA East Award
2021 RIBA East Conservation Award


CREDITS

Phase 1 Welcome Centre

Landscape Architect
J & L Gibbons
Architect
Simpson & Brown
Structural Engineer (Building)
Momentum Structural Engineers
Structural and Civil Engineer (Landscape) 
Civic Engineers
M&E Engineer
Mott MacDonald
Lighting Design
Studio Dekka
Soil Scientist
Tim O'Hare Associates
Arboricultural Consultant
Crown Tree Consultancy 
Quantity Surveyor (Landscape)
Jackson Coles
Landscape Management
Land Management Services
Planning Consultant
DLA Town Planning
Archaeology
Canterbury Archaeological Trust
Photography
© Sarah Blee | J&L Gibbons

Phase 2 Sumpter Yard | Image 3/3

Landscape Architect J & L Gibbons
Structural and Civil Engineer Civic Engineers
Quantity Surveyor and Principal Design Jackson Coles
Landscape Management Land Management Services
Planning Consultant DLA Town Planning
Soil Scientist Tim O'Hare Associates
Arboricultural Consultant Crown Tree Consultancy
Ecologist The Ecology Consultancy
Archaeology Canterbury Archaeological Trust