New buildings at Kew
George III's passion for building involved a good deal of demolition
of existing domestic properties. In 1800, James Wyatt began the
Castellated Palace, which was located on the site of the former
Kew Farm. The Castellated Palace project devoured all the residences
in the area between the Dutch House and the Brentford Ferry. Anticipating
the completion of the Castellated Palace, George III ordered the
demolition of the White House in 1802 and the family moved to the
Dutch House. However, work stopped in 1811 with the palace left
unfinished and it was demolished by George IV in 1827.
Although this period is not generally characterised by major botanical
construction projects, numerous small glasshouses and hothouses
were built in the Botanic Gardens. These include the house for the
African plants, later known as the Botany Bay House when it became
used for Australian collections; the 60ft (18.3m) Cape House, a
hothouse used for larger Australian and Cape plants; and the 40ft
(12.2m) Span House, intended for smaller Cape and Australian plants.
The most prominent physical development of the Botanic Gardens
was Banks' 1773 planting of over 800 species of trees and shrubs,
mostly from the North America. The exact location of the majority
of these plantings is currently unknown, but about about eight or
nine trees survive from this era in various locations within the
In 1794 George III purchased Rev Thomas Methold's house and gardens.
This brought another section of 3-5 acres (1.2-2ha) under the control
of the crown. The strip between Methold's Garden and the Kitchen
Garden remained in private ownership during this period, as did
the houses and gardens lining Kew Green.
Back to: 1771-1820:
George III and Joseph Banks