Our secluded garden is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. There are many beautiful plants and shrubs and the new wheelchair-friendly sensory garden offers a unique experience with areas to stimulate hearing, vision, touch and smell.
The D’Arcy Thompson Garden created in 1996 in memory of the Eminent Professor of that name who was known to stride the streets of St Andrews with a live parrot, called Polly, on his shoulder. As part of their Community Garden Project, the Beechgrove Garden “Hit Squad” helped to establish this area of the garden. The roses are in memory of his wife and the herb garden in his memory. Tucked away in the far corner is a two-seater privy, which provides much amusement for staff and visitors! Dating back to the late 19th century, it is believed to be the last remaining example of its type in St Andrews.
A recent addition to the main garden is an engraved stone with text bearing the following inscription;
“On Christ my Shepherd, I’ll depend from him, I will not stray, I will expect a blessed end, If he do lead my way”
This unusual stone was unearthed during excavation work for The Falconry. Modern technology was used to reveal the wording on the stone. Our thanks go to Mike Arrowsmith for this and to Steve Liscoe for his help. It is believed that this is the lower portion of a child’s gravestone from the mid-to-late 18th century. The stone is inscribed with the 13th verse of a 17 verse catechism for mothers, as religious instruction for children, written by the Rev John Willison, 1680 – 1750. The supporting frame was custom-made by local Blacksmith, John Henderson.
Towards the far end of the main garden is a fine stone seat designed and built by members of the Central branch of the Scottish Dry Stone Wall Association in 2017.
‘The Falconry’ a splendid wooden store so named after its benefactress. The building was constructed by local woodworker Peter Kushner, using Fife green oak from Newburgh and boasts a living sedum roof to benefit insects and birds. No nails or bolts have been used in its construction, just traditional methods such as pegged dovetail joints.
Finally, the splendid Sensory Garden designed and constructed by students from Elmwood Campus in 2017 as part of their Community Projects Scheme. It offers a unique experience with areas to stimulate hearing, vision, touch and smell.
Displays in the Garden
Dating from the 19th century, the privy (outside loo) is a two-seater and would have served the families in both No 12 and the adjacent property. Access was gained via a passage way which ran between the two buildings. The privy itself is believed to be one of the last remaining examples of its type in St Andrews.
The most recent addition to the Museum’s attractions is the Blacksmith display. Prior to the First World War there were over ten blacksmiths in St Andrews. The number of blacksmiths declined rapidly with advances in industrial equipment over the twentieth century.
The original wash-house became the “garden room” during James Scott’s ownership and is now home to the Chemist Shop. Our Research Room is situated in what became the next wash house. The reconstruction of the wash house displays equipment from early wash-days, including a mangle, wringer, dolly and scrubbing board.