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About Us

Abbey Gardens is a unique open community garden on the site of a 17th Century Abbey. We're run by the community working together through the seasons, using the garden as a place to pause, to grow, to meet, to make. Building a beautiful, healthy and sustainable garden that everyone can benefit from. What will your harvest be?

Open every day from dawn till dusk with community gardening workshops weekly on Sundays 3pm-6pm between April and October. 


 We hope you’ll join us soon!


Our History

The Abbey Gardens site is one of only two Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Newham and contains the remains of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey where monks once ran a kitchen garden. 


In 2006 a group of local residents formed Friends of Abbey Gardens with the aim of rescuing the derelict site from vandalism and neglect. The gardens were designed as part of a living art project 'what will the harvest be' founded by Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie. The result is a beautiful open-access park and harvest garden acting as a unique and valued local resource for both the local and wider communities in Newham.


The Friends of Abbey Gardens has grown into a group of about 60 volunteers, all with a variety of skills, experience and connections to contribute.


Our Mission

To offer a green space that will benefit the inhabitants of Newham and surrounding areas, improving their quality of life.

Create a space for pause, joy, reflection and healing in our urban environment.

A natural resource. A social resource. A creative resource.

A place to celebrate the community and build resilience against the challenges we face together.




Gardening clubs are every Sunday 3-5pm. Enjoy a free herbal tea during garden clubs. We grow together and harvest together from the garden. No experience or skills necessary, we welcome beginners to pros and all ages! 



To help maintain plots, beds and the wider garden on an ongoing basis. Please note however we do not operate like an allotment. Maintenance, garden tasks and harvesting is communal and shared between our garden members. 



The Spring Garden café is open 1-5pm every Friday, Saturday & Sunday serving coffee and delicious home cooked vegetarian food. The cafe serves daily vegan hot bowls, toasties, egg rolls and garden grown salads and provides local produce such as honey, herbs and sourdough. ​



This is the first year of our bee enclosure! We’ve welcomed our first hives into the garden, with a viewing window to watch the bees at work. Monika is our resident beekeeper. We want to make them feel at home, so please get in touch if you’d like to help look after our bees. 


We hold seasonal events from Easter, to Fiber festival, apple day, heritage events, halloween and arts & craft days. We also host educational workshops delivered by the local community centred around nature. These are open events for everyone to come together and enjoy the space in the garden – and we welcome all ideas and contributions for these events! Get in touch if you would be interested in organising them – or just follow us on Instagram to see upcoming dates and join us! ​


 As a part of Grow Green E15 series this summer we also have regular sessions every Wednesday throughout July  2024 from 6pm. These include training classes, dance, yoga, meditation and much more all completely free to attend by the community, all ages and abilities are also welcome. ​



The council owns and maintains Abbey Gardens’ land, but all our gardening, projects and events are funded by grants and volunteers. We will always be FREE space and resource for the community, but we do welcome donations via paypal (link below) please only donate if you feel able to do so comfortably.

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