Bridewell is a mental health recovery service. We provide social &
therapeutic horticulture in a working walled garden for adults
living in Oxfordshire. Our goal is to help people into jobs or
voluntary roles in the wider community.
A day at Bridewell means working alongside others in the garden
and vineyard, and since we have no electricity and use organic
practices, everyone has to really get stuck in. Being at Bridewell
gives people meaningful experiences and a sense of achievement and
this, coupled with individual recovery plans and support from our
trained practitioners is why Bridewell works. We are very good at
helping people overcome barriers and move on to a more active life.
"Without Bridewell, I don’t know where we’d be"
Bridewell opened in 1994 when the Cecil Family at Wilcote House
offered us use of their walled garden. At just over an acre and
built in the 1880s, the garden had, like many others, fallen into
disrepair after WW1 and part of our work has involved rebuilding and
restoring this beautiful space. Today the garden is an unexpected
Cotswold gem brimming with creative planting, a fruit cage, raised
vegetable beds, ponds and a knot garden. In 2000 we leased five
acres of adjoining land to plant an organic vineyard. Our
award-winning sparkling wine is an important source of income for
Since we opened we’ve supported hundreds of people through
recovery. We have a small team of paid staff-practitioners and a
large group of volunteers, without whom we couldn’t operate.
"My time spent at the garden, I believe, was the
overriding factor to recovery, to which end I am eternally grateful"