King William’s Temple and Mediterranean garden
King William’s Temple stands on a mound on Cherry Walk, in between the Palm House and Temperate House.
King William's Temple
Did you know?
- There are three main types of habitat in the Mediterranean: maquis, garrigue and woodland. Maquis has dense shrubland, olives and oak trees; garrigue is open with heaths and aromatic shrubs such as lavender; and woodlands comprise oaks and conifers.
- Kew is investigating how waste products from olive oil production could be used as sources of compounds to make medicines to treat cardio-vascular diseases.
King William’s Temple stands on a mound on Cherry Walk, in between the Palm House and Temperate House. It was built in 1837 for Queen Victoria in the memory of William IV and designed by his architect, Sir Jeffry Wyatville. Initially called the Temple of Military Fame, it was designed to complement Sir William Chambers’ Temple of Victory (no longer standing). Inside, cast-iron plates commemorate British victories from 1760 to 1815. It originally contained a parade of busts of characters including George III, George IV, William IV and the Duke of Wellington but these were later removed to Buckingham Palace. It stands in the centre of the Mediterranean Garden, which Kew created in 2007.
Things to look out for
The 2000m² area to the west of the Temple is planted to depict a typical Mediterranean natural habitat. Kew’s aim in creating the feature was to highlight the economic uses of many endemic Mediterranean plants, the diversity of life the habitat supports and the conservation efforts needed to ensure its survival. Stone pines (Pinus pinea), Tuscan olive trees (Olea europaea) and the green spires of Italian cypress (Cupress sempervivens) grow above shrubs such as Cistus and lavender (Lavandula lanata). Information boards explain the uses of some of the most economically important plants.
- Five regions around the world share the same distinctive climate that we call Mediterranean. These regions cover two per cent of the world’s land surface but hold 20 per cent of its plant life. Can you name the four that lie outside the Mediterranean region itself?
- Can you find the tree that we use to make wine bottle stoppers from? Which part of the tree is used for this purpose?
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You can keep your hat on...
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.