Inverleith House was designed by David Henderson in 1773 and built the following year.

It stood at the heart of Sir James Rocheid’s estate, which comprised not only all 73 acres of what is now the Botanics, but also Inverleith
Park and yet more land leading up
to Stockbridge. Over the following century, parts of the great Rocheid estate were sold off. Inverleith House was included in a sale in 1877, and following a refurbishment, it became the home of the Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

In 1960, the house was turned into the inaugural home of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, with its well-proportioned rooms flooded with light from the large windows making it ideally suited for exhibiting art.

By this time, a new public entrance portico had been added at the rear of the building, meaning that what is now considered the ‘front’ of the building, facing north, is actually the ‘back’. Although the Gallery of Modern Art left in 1984, two years later Inverleith House became the official art gallery of the Botanic Garden, exhibiting the best in both contemporary and botanical art in exhibitions throughout the year.


    Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder sits in its cradle on a plinth on a sunny day

    Stories from the Biomes: A Change in the Weather

    Every day for the last thirty years, rain or shine, Senior Horticulturist Bruce Robertson has climbed up on to the roof of the Temperate Palm House to change the Campbell-Stokes recorder's sunshine card. As the restoration on the Victorian Palm Houses begins, the recorder's solid crystal ball is stored away for safe keeping.
    intro 16x9

    Garden Buildings: Introduction

    Building for Nature Buildings have been important to gardens for thousands of years – from the humble wooden shed for potting to magnificent glass palaces in which to...
    inverleith 16x9

    Inverleith House

    Inverleith House was designed by David Henderson in 1773 and built the following year. It stood at the heart of Sir James Rocheid’s estate, which comprised not only...
    cali 16x9

    Caledonian Hall

    Built by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society when this part of the Garden was under their care, the Caledonian Hall is a beautiful example of a Victorian exhibition...
    east gate 16x9

    East Gate Lodge

    William Henry Playfair was responsible for some of Edinburgh’s grandest buildings, including the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland, but the East Gate Lodge is...
    herb 16x9

    The Herbarium

    Officially opened by HM The Queen in 1964, the Herbarium and Library was built to house the collection of three million preserved plant specimens held by the Royal...
    linn mon 16x9

    The Linnaeus Monument

    This handsome monument honours the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who popularised a system of sexual classification of plants in the 18th century. It originally stood in the previous...
    main range 16x9

    Main Glasshouse Range

    When built in 1967 the 128 metre long main glasshouse range was regarded as the greatest innovation in glasshouse design in a century. The then Curator of the...
    palm 16x9

    The Temperate Palm House

    Completed in 1858, the Temperate Palm House is the tallest traditional Palm House in Britain, with a height of 21.95 metres. Designed by Robert Matheson, the glasshouse cost...
    cottage 16x9

    The Botanic Cottage

    Designed by two of the most renowned’ architects of the 18th century – John Adam (brother of Robert) and James Craig (designer of Edinburgh’s New Town plan) –...