25 July 2012 By Billy Hawkins
Even though our glass house (on a curved wall) is finished and now full of plants at Fulham Palace Walled Gardens, the continuing restoration and archaeological study keeps bringing new treasures to light.
Fulham Palace Trust (FPT) have announced that it has successfully opened up one of three historic bee boles on the outside of the Palace’s walled garden, which had been bricked up for over a century. This work has been funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Bee boles are wall cavities, or niches, built to protect beehives and their occupants from the weather. Cliveden Conservation has been retained for the project of revealing the bee boles, with archaeological recording being undertaken by Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd (PCA) as part of the community archaeology dig taking place this month.
According to Phil Emery, Heritage Trustee of FPT, “Beekeeping would have been a longstanding tradition at Fulham Palace, providing a variety of honey-related products for consumption by the Bishop’s household and guests. In its fermented form, honey was used to make mead – a staple drink especially in the medieval period.”
As for our own bees here at Torberry, they are frolicking in the thyme and sunshine after a very wet summer. I’m sure they would have been very grateful for a bee bole to protect them from the elements.
For more information on Fulham Palace Walled Gardens click here.