‘Edin. 29th March 1765. Received from Dr John Hope Professor of Botany in the College of Edinburgh, the sum of fifteen pounds ster for making Plans and Estimates of Gardiner’s House, Green house, Hotthouses and c, for the New Bottanick Garden’
The ‘Gardiner’s House’ referred to in this historic receipt from the architect John Adam in 1765, is none other than the last surviving building of the long lost Leith Walk incarnation of the Royal Botanic Garden: Botanic Cottage. 250 years later, this cottage – which acted as a home for the head gardener, a classroom for Regius Keeper John Hope to teach students about botany, and a gateway for people coming to the garden – will be reborn as a new facility for community and education use within the current Botanic Garden in Inverleith, with building work beginning later this Spring.
After moving from Leith Walk in the early 1820s, Botanic Cottage was left behind, becoming a private dwelling and later offices, before succumbing to vandalism and arson in the early 21st century. Threatened with demolition, a community campaign set out to save the cottage and find a new use for it, recognising its important history and great potential. It was decided that the cottage would be moved stone by stone and rebuilt in our Demonstration Garden, and we are now just a few months away from ground being broken and work beginning on this exciting project. In 2015 Botanic Cottage will open its doors to all sorts of local groups who want to be inspired by the world of plants.
There’ll be many more opportunities to tell the stories about Botanic Cottage’s fascinating past, its rebuilding in the present, and its fantastic future, so do look out for more blog posts. In the meantime, do follow the project on Twitter @BotanicCottage