The Vineyard Community Project – Medieval Bishops Palace
The Medieval Bishops Palace in Lincoln has the only official Vineyard within English Heritage properties and Lincoln city. When it was first planted in 1972 it was the most northerly vineyard in Britain, it is now one of three.
‘The Vineyard Community Project’ now involves a volunteer group from the local community to help with the care of the vines and grounds, alongside a partnership with a local vineyard, to help with the harvesting and the production of wine at the end of the season.
The historical vineyard has now been tamed and functions with the help of volunteers.
This forgotten gem has become a flourishing natural environment that has not only encouraged the wildlife of the area to stop by, but also many new visitors.
Each volunteer has helped to develop a new sense of community, which has not only benefited the gardens, but also brought the busy ‘hustle and bustle’ back to the medieval Bishops Palace, a feeling it has not had for many a generation. The project has encouraged the local community to be involved with English Heritage, as an organisation, by helping to maintain and develop part of a local historical ruin.
The volunteer group has now grown to ten members who are very keen and enthusiastic about how much the vineyard could mean, not only to English heritage, but the local community as well. The volunteers themselves come from all backgrounds and walks of life but have a common goal that brings them together as a group, viticulture and yes, ‘the love of wine’.
Throughout the year the vineyard has different phases of care, the volunteers gain training for these stages, for example; hard pruning, tying back, rubbing and of course let’s not forget the harvesting.
Without the help of these amazing people the vineyard project would not have moved forward and they are extremely important to the work here on site at Lincoln and within English Heritage.
Medieval Bishops Palace are hoping to hold a member’s event next July, where local food producers will be invited and there will be opportunity to sample the wine from their vineyard. After all the volunteers hard work they will deserve a glass from the vines they have looked after throughout the year.
To find out more about The Vineyard Community Project, please contact Samantha Jane Gordon, Project Manager at SamanthaJane.Gordon@english-heritage.org.uk.
Find out about Vineyard tours and other events at the Medieval Bishops Palace here.