The Grade I listed Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world. It houses an internationally important collection of temperate zone plants, including some of the rarest and most threatened. Due to its age and the internal conditions required to support the plants, much of the building needed modernising.
Since the doors closed in 2013 for this five-year restoration project, we have:
By restoring this historic building we are ensuring its conservation, highlighting our botanic heritage and delivering new cutting-edge displays.
Now, in the final phases of restoration, the horticulture teams are preparing the job of replanting the precious collection, which they have been caring for in special nurseries at Kew. The glasshouse will house 1,500 different species of temperate plants, including some of the worlds rarest. These include the South African cycad Encephalartos woodii. Only one specimen of this cycad has been found growing in the wild, and has long since disappeared. Today, this cycad (of which there are only males) is found exclusively in botanic gardens and private collections around the world.
With the global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and food security, these important plant collections will highlight Kew’s role in safeguarding rare and threatened plants from extinction.
The Temperate House is central to expanding our knowledge of a huge range of species, and helping Kew lead the world in global plant science and conservation.
By supporting the Temperate House, we can leave a legacy for future generations of visitors, horticulturists and scientists alike.
Generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for Environment, Farming & Rural Affairs, and private donors has made the Temperate House project possible.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.