Gardens of Richmond & Kew united
When George III inherited Kew Gardens on the death of his mother
Princess Augusta in 1772, Richmond Gardens, Kew Gardens and much
riverside property came under single ownership for the first time
in their history.
However, it was not until 1802 that George physically united the
gardens by closing Love Lane, which had been the main public right
of way from Kew to Richmond, and taking down the walls that had
divided the two royal estates.
In the years between, George III made several changes to the Gardens.
In Kew Gardens, two sunken fences and a strip of trees dividing
them were removed. The Alhambra and the Gothic Cathedral were demolished,
and the Menagerie and Aviary were reduced to grass. He apparently
retained the Chinese Ting from the centre of the Menagerie, but
not the pond in which it had stood. He also repaired various garden
buildings, including the Temple of Solitude, the Pagoda and the
House of Confucius.
Change came to Richmond Gardens, too, with the northern half of
the Wild Ground being planted with trees. In the same period the
New Mount, an unknown building on its top and the Grass Plot in
front of the Hermitage were removed.
Once the Gardens were physically united, George III and his Head
Gardener, now William Aiton, undertook more changes in an attempt
to make one unified landscape. Most of the Lake was backfilled to
create the Home Lawn. Two new southern gateways were made; Lion
Gate and the Oxenhouse Gate.
But all this change in plantings and buildings is less significant
than the change of direction for the Gardens, a seminal change brought
about by the association of King George III and Sir Joseph Banks.
Back to: 1771-1820:
George III and Joseph Banks