Old fig garden opens for annual display

DM16128666a.jpg Annual Tarring fig gardens open day. L to R Annie Messerschmidt, David Warner and Richard Warner. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160207-190118008
DM16128666a.jpg Annual Tarring fig gardens open day. L to R Annie Messerschmidt, David Warner and Richard Warner. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160207-190118008

One of Worthing’s most concealed ‘treasures’ opened its gates to the public at the weekend.

Hidden within the streets of Tarring is an old fig garden, believed to have existed since 1745, but with origins dating much further back.

DM16128649a.jpg Annual Tarring fig gardens open day. Home owners Richard and Ann Warner and grandchildren Archie 12 and Lucy 8. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160207-190055008

DM16128649a.jpg Annual Tarring fig gardens open day. Home owners Richard and Ann Warner and grandchildren Archie 12 and Lucy 8. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160207-190055008

The Fig Orchards are spread across the gardens of three properties in South Street, Tarring, with each owner continuing to honour legal agreements to open the garden to the public one day a year, this year opening Saturday July 2.

The residents of the garden celebrated the day with entertainment, dressing in period costume and serving tea and scones.

Ann Warner, 77, of Bishop’s Garth, the main cottage on the gardens, said: “It was a very, very good day. People sat in the garden and my husband and my son played folk music with instruments.

“It was a nice day and we display all of the history so people know what they are actually coming to and the family all helped.”

In 1989 Worthing Borough Council produced a legal agreement stating permission to build developments could go ahead on the land, as long as the Orchard remained intact, maintained by the developers, and should any damage occur, a satisfactory replacement planted.

Previous open days for the Fig Orchard have been a huge success due to the historic attraction of the building, which also dates back to the time of the Archbishop Thomas A’Becket.

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