Consolidating the gardens
With their 'official' recognition and the appointment of Sir William
Hooker, the first Director, the Gardens were revitalised.
Over a period of several years Hooker expanded his domain, taking
parcels of land from Aiton's Pleasure Grounds and transferring them
to the Botanic Gardens.
From 1843 onwards, a high rabbit-proof wire fence stretched from
the Unicorn Gate to the private grounds of the Dutch House, its
purpose being to separate the Pleasure Grounds from the Botanic
Gardens. Though W T Aiton retired in 1845, and the Pleasure Grounds
passed into Hooker's control, the fence remained in place until
Hooker landscaped his expanding Botanic Gardens as a single entity,
taking out internal walls, thinning shrubbery, extending lawns and
creating new walks. Piece by piece, the extent of the modern gardens
emerged during this period.
The King of Hanover (Duke of Cumberland) had also retained various
sections of the Pleasure Grounds, but in 1848 he ceded them in their
entirety to Kew.
The Royal Kitchen Garden transferred to Hooker in 1846, and only
the private grounds of the Dutch House, Queen's Charlotte’s
Cottage, and the area between Brentford Ferry and the former Dutch
House Lawn remained outside his control.
Back to: 1841-1885:
The flowering of Kew