By Harry Mottram: To wander around a number of private gardens in Axbridge on a sunny June afternoon is a delight and for people like me who are nosey there’s a chance to privately rate them in marks out of ten and to have a nose around in general. My tactic is to tell each owner of each garden that there’s is the best one – which they know is a lie but nobody seems to mind.

The Axbridge Open Gardens Weekend for June 1-2, 2024, is in aid of the Friends of Axbridge Church (FOAC) – a charitable organisation that seeks to maintain some of the historic structures and to improve access to St John The Baptist Church on the edge of the Square. It was almost certainly preceded by a wooden Saxon church but the current structure dates to the 15th century with a statue of Henry VII that dates it to before 1485.

Speaking to several people this afternoon in the garden event the same sentiment was shared – people see the church as a social, historic and cultural centre that helps to define Axbridge’s past – rather than declaring themselves as being devout church goers. It is vital the church is kept in good condition and is open to wider activities in future to include as it has been to concerts, theatre, exhibitions etc apart from its primary purpose as a place of worship.

Open gardens is a popular event across the country run by a variety of organisations with the National Garden Schem dating to the 1920s. Axbiridge’s is in contrast quite a recent version with several gardens open for the fee of £5 to the FOAC for two afternoons. This year the event also coincided with the Saturday Rumble in the Jumble event to raise cash for Axbridge Blackberry Carnival – which this year falls on Saturday, September 21st, 2024, in the aftenoon.

The open gardens continues on Sunday 2nd June 2024.

For more on the carnival and to take part visit

For more on the FOAC see

This film is from five years ago but is partly about the FOAC:

Axbridge News is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents.

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc