About the Gardens
Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens offers the perfect surrounding for a final resting place for a loved one, or if you are considering arrangements for yourself.
Empathetic, experienced staff can guide you through the process with care and sensitivity. They can talk through the options available and show you the gardens so you choose what is right for your needs. A personal visit is highly recommended, please ring for an appointment.
All cultures, faiths and beliefs are made welcome and can be catered for.
Entering Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens is like walking into a different era - there is a calmness and peace in carefully planned surroundings, which provide colour and beauty, whatever the season. Woodlands, formal planting, pools, fountains, rills, parterres, a rockery and a wisteria pergola fill the gardens, which sit alongside the Stoke Park landscape, created by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton.
A magnificent 600 year-old oak stands within the grounds, in the Oak Dell, a beautiful natural area.
While the main purpose of the Memorial Gardens is the interment of cremated remains, it is a vibrant and interesting place to visit, with a wealth of history and many activities on offer. For instance, there are guided walks, a butterfly day in August led by an expert, while autumn brings the chance for a fungus foray. There are also heritage open days and National Gardens Scheme open day. An annual Thanksgiving Service takes place on the first Saturday in October.
Gardens of this beauty do not just happen - they are the result of a great deal of hard work all year round. The staff of five gardeners is assisted by a volunteer group which comes in regularly to help out and more volunteers are always welcomed. 'Friends of Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens' is a group, who support the gardens with fundraising and with practical help.
To contact or join the friends, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Besides being an attractive and historic place to visit, the Memorial Gardens provide a perfect resting place for loved ones.
Within it are 500 gated family gardens, individually designed by White to represent a 'home-coming', and in which are interred the ashes of some well-known people. One of the larger gardens, the Ghurkha Memorial Garden, is in memory of the 4th Prince of Wales' own Ghurkha Rifles.
Visitors are always welcome. Some come to pay their respects to people they have lost, while others come simply to enjoy the gardens and views. All are asked to be mindful of the role the gardens have and to be respectful, no dogs,picnics, ball games, joggers or cycling. Assistance dogs only are allowed in the gardens.
The gardens are open daily, 8am - 7pm in summer and 8am-4.30pm in winter. The office is open Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, excluding Bank Holidays.
Car Park opposite the gardens is open Weekends and Bank Holidays. Monday-Friday please park in the gardens during office hours or in the small front section of the car park if you are here past 4.30 when the gates close.
Weekend access is via the side gate and through the churchyard for wheelchair users. All the main paths are gravel on tarmac and suitable for wheelchair access.
A wheelchair and electric buggy are available during office hours, but must be pre-booked.
History Of The Gardens
The parkland landscape which originally formed part of Stoke Park was originally laid out by Capability Brown and Repton. Much of the area survived until 1909 when, with its opening as a Golf Course, the character changed. In 1911 part of the park and the surrounding land was developed by a private company and sold for housing. In the 1930's land on the south side of the St. Giles Church came under threat from further development. Sir Noel Mobbs, Lord of the Manor of Stoke Poges, acquired the twenty acres of land to the south of the church in order to preserve the tranquil and rural setting of St. Giles church, made famous by Gray's poem 'Elegy in a Country Church' and to have the land as a Memorial Garden, to be a 'living memorial to the dead and of solace to the bereaved'.
On 25 May 1935 the land was dedicated as 'non-denominational grounds' by the Rt. Rev. Lord Bishop of Buckingham, assisted by the provost of Eaton, Mr Noel Mobbs (as he was then) and the Vicar of St. Giles Church, Rev. Mervyn Clare. In 1971 the Memorial Gardens were given to Eton and District Rural Council, which subsequently became part of South Bucks District Council.
They were designed by Edward White, a partner of Milner, White and Son, a leading landscape architect firm of the day. The plan of Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens was completed in 1937. The Gardens were to contain no buildings nor monuments as in a cemetery, but were designed on a generous scale as a complete garden with small gardens and plots available for purchase for the repose of ashes. White felt it imperative that the general appearance of the Gardens should offer satisfactory unity. There were and are in excess of 500 individual family gated gardens, for which there is no existing precedent.
Significant restoration work to the gardens was carried out during 2001-2004, a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, South Bucks District Council and the Mobbs Memorial Trust.