London Parks & Gardens Trust

Anticlockwise Kensington Walk

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

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Directions

Continue along the south side of Queen's Gate Gardens and turn right until you again meet the Cromwell Road. Turn left, passing Baden-Powell House, the international hostel of the Boy Scout movement. A few yards further on is the entrance to the Natural History Museum, which gives access to the Wildlife Garden.

Description

Following the success of the 1851 Great Exhibition Prince Albert wished to promote the application of science and art to industry with profits from the Exhibition. Government matched the surplus and the land for the site was purchased. The Natural History Museum was built in 1872-80, set back from Cromwell Road behind fine railings and piers with areas of landscaping either side of the central semicircular forecourt. There are fine plane trees and shrubbery, a large area of lawn to the west and a number of sculptural features. In 1995 a Wildlife Garden was created in the south-west corner as the Museum's first living exhibition to show the potential for wildlife conservation in the inner city, an educational resource and research facility. It contains a range of habitats such as fen, reedbed, ponds, hedgerow, heathland, woodland, meadow and chalk downland grazed by a number of sheep.