Temperate House (closed until 2018)

Kew is undertaking a vital five year restoration project, costing £34.3 million. The project will restore the Temperate House and its surrounding landscape, and convert the adjoining Evolution House into a world class public engagement centre.

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Photo of the Temperate House

Temperate House

About the restoration

This vital restoration project includes:

  • Restoration of the Temperate House building
  • Restructuring the horticultural displays
  • Rejuvenating the existing historic botanical collection
  • Setting up a community outreach programme, apprenticeship scheme and volunteer programme
  • Creating a new arm to Kew’s schools education programme, encouraging children and young people to learn more about plants and climate change

What makes the Temperate House unique

  • The Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world, covering 4,880 square metres (5,5850 square yards) and extending to 19 metres (63 feet) high.
  • It is a Grade I listed building, was designed by Decimus Burton and took 40 years to build.
  • The Temperate House is host to a unique collection of over 4,000 plants, many no longer growing in the wild. It is not only architecturally unique but plays an important conservation role.  

Help us restore the Temperate House

Last restored in the early 1970s, the Temperate House again needs considerable work and restoration if we are to ensure that it can last another 150 years and beyond.

Kew needs your help if we are to be able to carry out this complex and ambitious restoration. Please make a donation today and become a part of the campaign to renew and reinvigorate Kew’s Temperate House.

We still need to raise £1 million

Play your part in saving our heritage - visit www.kew.org/temperatehouse

17 comments on 'Temperate House (closed until 2018)'

Hugh David Loxdale says

22/04/2013 12:20:56 PM | Report abuse

The ‘Captive’ Robin (Heard and seen singing in the Temperate House at Kew Gardens, Tuesday, 16th April, 2013). Contrary to the prognostications of William Blake (In 'Auguries of Innocence', 1803): The Cock Robin proclaims his space/From a tall tree within the glasshouse walls,/Long and loud he calls,/A voice to make every Spring-filled heart glad… Of his indomitable race./Not mad,/For Heaven’s sake,/Enjoy the wondrous proclamations,/And rejoice/In his bold declamations./Presumably the little bird can escape this cage,/The imprisoning glaze via the open door…/When he so desires,/And does not rage nor burn in Hell’s fires,/But rather, lives out his Himmlische life,/Without strife amidst these transparent halls…/And finds a mate, and food,/Sires a brood…which he helps to raise,/And in us, implants the many seeds of hope,/The impetus to heavenward gaze,/To continue on… and forever cope.//Hugh D. Loxdale, Augsburg, Germany, 22nd April, 2013.

Mark Allen says

06/08/2012 10:17:31 PM | Report abuse

My Grandpa was heavily involved with the 1970's restoration, and I have a lovely photo of him being presented to HM The Queeen following it's reopening. I remember seeing the detailed drawings he did, and wondering where those skills went!

emanuela cassol says

02/11/2011 7:07:18 PM | Report abuse

I still remember the moments of bliss I experienced when I first walked in Kew. That was in the summer of 1994...


21/03/2011 7:32:07 PM | Report abuse

I loved Kew Gardens when i went with my School twice. when you go there you learn what nature looks smells like and then you learn about what we are doing wrong to the world by killing all the plants and then the animals with it.

patrica says

06/02/2011 10:48:30 PM | Report abuse

Been to kew many times, hopefully will be visiting in the next week or so to see the wonderful display of orchids, and also to see the palm house etc and the trees! well worth the entrance fee, where else do you get to walk in an historic garden with so much to see and do whatever your age! well done kew!!! loved walking among the treetops hope to do that too.

Dave says

11/01/2011 9:58:32 PM | Report abuse

Been to Kew several times, Amazing building!! Well worth a visit, and when you think of what you get to see at Kew with not one, not two, but more than three glass houses (if you inc. the brilliant Glasshouse with the Lilly's!) the entrance fee is well worth it I think!


15/11/2010 10:35:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping to visit this Saturday (20.11) & can't wait to see all the trees, especially my favourite tree - the Cedar - don't mind which one but I just want to walk underneath one. It'll be my 1st visit to the gardens but have driven past it many times previously. Really looking forward to it.


17/09/2010 8:37:28 PM | Report abuse

I must agree with Trevor Lea. I visit Kew Gardens at least twice month, as much for photography, as the plants. However, a clickable data-base of plants would allow me to have a photographic 'wish list' so I can pre-plan, especially as I am disabled, to enable me to visit my chosen plants at the right time, and the right place. Also to save me wasting my time hunting for non-existent plants. But I still love my perambulations.

Trevor Lea says

03/09/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

On a visit this week to Kew I set out to find an avocado tree. After several fruitless enquiries (excuse pun), I eventually found one in the Temperate House. It would be very helpful if a database could be created whereby I can enter "avocado" and find out where such a plant is located in the Gardens.

DW says

10/08/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

This is on my 'must list. I love Victoriana!

Digital Media Team says

23/02/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

A link has been added under the "Things to look out for" section of this page to more information on the plants found in the Temperate House. We hope this helps.

Kew Feedback Team says

23/02/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Dear Monah, a good reference book for family and latin names of plant species is "Mabberley's Plant-book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classifications, and Uses" by Kew's current Keeper of the Herbarium, David Mabberley (Cambridge University Press)


21/02/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

no information on plants

monah says

02/02/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

I am studying aromatherapy and i need to be able to find the family names and latin names and descriptions of various plants is there such a list.


14/12/2009 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

it looks very sick and thats means cool i would love to go there if i was allowd

Abigail says

30/10/2009 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

That looks neat!

julie says

04/10/2009 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

i went skating near here last christmas - beautiful place to fall over ;-)

Your Kew

We invite photographers to capture the sights at Kew and Wakehurst. These images are a selection of images submitted by photographers from around the world. We hope you enjoy them. You can see more on Flickr.