Since its opening in 1846, Cambridge University Botanic Garden has been an inspiration for gardeners, an exciting introduction to the natural world for families and a refreshing oasis for all our visitors.
This heritage-listed Garden has been designed for both year-round interest and seasonal inspiration so, whenever you visit, you will find plants to intrigue and enchant.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE GARDEN
The original Botanic Garden of Cambridge University was founded in 1762 in the centre of the City, now known as the New Museums Site. This small Garden was conceived as a typical Renaissance physic garden, inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden in London. It grew herbaceous plants used in the teaching of medical students at the University.
We owe the existence of today’s much larger Botanic Garden, occupying a 40 acre site between Hills Road and Trumpington Road, to John Stevens Henslow, the Professor of Botany at Cambridge from 1825 – 1861.
Henslow laid out the Garden to accommodate a wonderful tree collection. But he also planted his ideas about variation and the nature of species that would be taken up in a revolutionary fashion by his famous student, Charles Darwin.
We hope today that we continue to plant ideas, maybe even seeds of change, as we work to reflect and communicate new directions in plant science, respond to the challenges of managing a historic landscape and deliver innovative programmes for everyone.