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Chichele College

The College
The College founded by Henry Chichele in 1422

Henry Chichele was born in the parish in 1363, third son of Thomas, a draper by trade, and Agnes his wife. Thomas was mayor of the borough several times. Henry was sent to Winchester School, and then went on to New College, Oxford. He entered the church and soon rose to prominence. In 1413 he was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, and held that post for thirty years.

Henry founded a college at Higham in 1422, (dissolved by Henry VIII), the ruins of which survive, and now preserved as an Ancient Monument.

The visitors, Chichele College garden

Stepping down from the bus
near hollyhock corner,
gravel path
prism border,
On past the porch
(where the Green Man lives)
to an unlocked gate

She leans into shade
feet flexing cool grass,
in the nest of her hands, a mask,
laid like an offering.
Sensing the presence,

murmurings from the day:
children hopping the once-was wall
a dinosaur spine nipping toes,
gardeners kneel with trugs
unthreading wild strawberries;

Madonna lilies halo vined trellis,
Medlar plum and mandrake
tucked in teeming beds.

Across the singing stones
footfalls from long memory.
A deeper stillness.

She cries, moved by beauty
spiritus sancti

the soft lulling bees

Susan Waters
August 2020

The entrance way to the garden area

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