Alongside the Thames
The strip of Kew's estate that runs alongside the Thames originally
lay outside Kew Gardens and Richmond Gardens, having originally
been plots of land on which stood historic buildings and their gardens.
The northern (Kew Bridge) end of the zone is dominated by the Herbarium.
This houses the internationally significant preserved plant collections
as well as the Library, botanical art and archival collections.
It is is one of several centres for scientific activity at Kew.
Near the river, too, is the oldest building at Kew, the 17th century
Dutch House, now called Kew Palace. This was built in 1631 as a
merchant's riverside villa, and later became a royal residence.
Behind the Dutch House is the Queen's Garden, a small, formal garden
designed in the 1960s in authentic 17th century style.
Between the Herbarium and Kew Palace is the very modern Sir Joseph
Banks Centre for Economic Botany in its landscaped 3 ha (7.4 acres)
site. It was constructed in 1990 and is one of the largest earth-covered
complexes in the country. It is not currently open to the general
Also in this area are the Lower Nursery Complex and the Building
and Maintenance Yard. These are private areas of extensive modern
greenhouses, administrative offices and staff housing. The Lower
Nursery Complex is also the site of the ill-fated Castellated Palace,
commissioned by George III and demolished, unfinished, by George
In the Riverside Zone:
to: Places overview
On to: North