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History Study Area St Bees Man Lapidarium Sleeping Child Garden

Development of Sleeping Child Garden

The Sleeping Child Garden was the inspiration of Josefina de Vasconcellos, a noted Lakeland sculptor who died in her 101st year, still working, a few years ago.

She wanted a place of meditation for those who had lost children, either before or after birth, to come and sit in peace and quiet. She donated three sculptures for the garden - the Sleeping Babe, the Holy Innocents and the Heavenly Twins. The Priory had to raise the funds to build the garden and approached amongst others, Richard Branson. He e-mailed us back within 2 days saying "trust Josefina to come up with such a great idea. My cheque is in the post" - With that generous donation of £4,000, plus several others from local friends and admirers of Josefina, we were able to do the hard landscaping very quickly. Plants and planting materials were supplied at cost by Keith Singleton nursery and others were donated. As a result we were able to create the Garden before Josefina died.

A small exhibition about the Garden is to be found in the Lady Chapel of the Priory, where two other of her sculptures are to be found.

There is also a Memorial Book in the Chapel for those who have lost children may enter their messages.