Bishop's Waltham Palace has hosted its first St John Garden Fair, with over 2,000 visitors making it a day to remember, boosting the charity's coffers by nearly £6,000.

The fair had been transplanted from its old home at Rookley Manor, Up Somborne and organisers have now pledged to make it an annual event in this new location.

Rare, unusual and cottage garden plants were offered by specialist garden nurseries, normally seen at the Chelsea Flower Show, alongside country foods and crafts.

Eager gardeners shopped until they dropped, enjoying lunch and afternoon tea, serenaded by the St James Brass Band among the historic ruins.

Young gardeners enjoyed learning at first hand how to grow plants with runner beans, sunflower and mustard and cress seeds provided, along with child-sized trowels and watering cans in the children's corner.

The raffle raised £500, thanks to the star prize-a beautiful hand-carved articulated lorry and trailer, supplied by Fred Felton, of Gosport.

It took three months to create and was won by a school in Petersfield, where it will be put on show and then used as a teaching aid.

All the money raised at the fair will go towards the work of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, where St. John Ambulance Hampshire supports the cost of a nurse each year from local fund-raising. Opened over 120 years ago, it was the first eye hospital in the Middle East.

Its doors have remained open ever since and its mission is to provide high quality ophthalmic care to the people of the Holy Land, irrespective of race, religion, class, or ability to pay.