No. 8 On The Map
Pool of St. Catherine
At the west end of the Bishop’s Garden’s Upper Perennial border is the cross-shaped Pool of St. Catherine. Within the stone wall at the back of the pool is a 15th century granite bas-relief depicting four figures. St. Catherine, holding a wheel, is the figure at the far left. The bas-relief was acquired from the collection of George Grey Barnard.
The pool was dedicated in 1929 as a gift to the Bishop’s Garden from the Lake Forest Garden Club of Illinois. Water gently trickles from a stepped fountain into the pool – where fish reside. Both the pool and its stepped fountain are made from Aquia Creek sandstone quarried in Virginia. George Washington selected Aquia sandstone as the primary material for use in many of Washington D. C.’s government buildings.
Florence Brown Bratenahl designed many elements of the Cathedral’s Gardens – including the Pool of St. Catherine. Mrs. Bratenahl served as the Cathedral’s landscape designer from 1928 to 1936 and also led the fund-raising campaign for the construction of the Bishop’s Garden. She was married to George Carl Finch Bratenahl, who served as the Cathedral Dean from 1915 to 1936.
Walk along the stone pathway that parallels the stone wall to enjoy the plants, plaques, and statuary in the Upper Perennial Border.
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Partner with us to ensure that the 57 acres of gardens and grounds surrounding Washington National Cathedral continue to be a haven of peace and refreshment in the midst of the Nation’s Capital.