Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This historic landscape garden features elements that illustrate significant periods of the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The gardens house botanic collections (conserved plants, living plants and documents) that have been considerably enriched through the centuries. Since their creation in 1759, the gardens have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Jardins botaniques royaux de Kew

Les jardins botaniques royaux de Kew composent un jardin paysager historique dont les éléments illustrent des périodes caractéristiques de l’art des jardins du XVIIIe au XXe  siècle. Ils abritent des collections botaniques (plantes conservées, vivantes et documents) qui ont été enrichies de manière considérable au cours des siècles. Depuis leur création, en 1759, ces jardins ont contribué de manière significative et continue à l’étude de la diversité des plantes et de la botanique économique.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

حدائق كيو النباتية الملكية

حدائق كيو النباتية الملكية هي عبارة عن حديقة تاريخية تجسّد عناصرها مراحل خاصة بفن الحدائق من القرن الثامن عشر الى القرن العشرين. وهي تحوي تشكيلات من النباتات (نباتات محفوظة وحية ووثائق) التي تم اغناؤها بصورة هائلة على مر القرون. وقد ساهمت منذ انشائها عام 1759 ولا تزال على نحو كبير في دراسة تنوع النباتات وعلم النبات الاقتصادي.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Королевские ботанические сады в Кью (пригород Лондона)

Этот исторический парковый ландшафт демонстрирует достижения садово-паркового искусства в период XVIII-XX вв. Здесь содержатся ботанические коллекции (гербарии, живые растения и документы), которые за несколько веков существенно пополнились. Сады, начиная с момента своего создания в 1759 г., внесли огромный вклад в изучение растительного мира.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Reales Jardines Botánicos de Kew

Estos jardines constituyen de por sí un verdadero paisaje histórico, cuyos elementos son ilustrativos de las distintas etapas por las que ha pasado el arte paisajístico entre los siglos XVIII y XX. Las colecciones botánicas de Kew, integradas por documentos y plantas conservadas o vivas, se han ido enriqueciendo considerablemente con el correr de los siglos. Desde que se crearon en 1759, estos jardines han prestado una contribución continua e importante al estudio de la diversidad de las plantas, así como a sus aplicaciones económicas.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Koninklijke botanische tuinen van Kew

Deze historische landschapstuin illustreert belangrijke periodes van tuinkunst uit de 18e tot de 20e eeuw. De tuinen huisvesten botanische collecties (geconserveerde planten, levende planten en documenten) die door de eeuwen heen aanzienlijk zijn verrijkt. Sinds hun oprichting in 1759 hebben de tuinen een belangrijke en ononderbroken bijdrage geleverd aan de studie naar de plantdiversiteit en economische plantkunde. Het landschapontwerp van Kew's Botanische tuinen, de gebouwen en plantencollecties vormen samen een uniek getuigenis van de ontwikkelingen binnen de tuinkunst en botanische wetenschap. Het concept van de 18e-eeuwse Engelse landschapstuin werd nagevolgd in heel Europa en vervolgens verspreid over de hele wereld.


Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Set amongst a series of parks and estates along the River Thames' south-western reaches, this historic landscape garden includes work by internationally renowned landscape architects Bridgeman, Kent, Chambers, Capability Brown and Nesfield illustrating significant periods in garden design from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The gardens house extensive botanic collections (conserved plants, living plants and documents) that have been considerably enriched through the centuries. Since their creation in 1759, the gardens have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity, plant systematics and economic botany.

The landscape design of Kew Botanic Gardens, their buildings and plant collections combine to form a unique testimony to developments in garden art and botanical science that were subsequently diffused around the world. The 18th century English landscape garden concept was adopted in Europe and Kew's influence in horticulture, plant classification and economic botany spread internationally from the time of Joseph Banks' directorship in the 1770s. As the focus of a growing level of botanic activity, the mid 19th century garden, which overlays earlier royal landscape gardens is centred on two large iron framed glasshouses - the Palm House and the Temperate House that became models for conservatories around the world.  Elements of the 18th and 19th century layers including the Orangery, Queen Charlotte's Cottage; the folly temples; Rhododendron Dell, boundary ha-ha; garden vistas to William Chambers' pagoda and Syon Park House; iron framed glasshouses; ornamental lakes and ponds; herbarium and plant collections convey the history of the Gardens' development from royal retreat and pleasure  garden to national botanical and horticultural garden before becoming a modern institution of conservation ecology in the 20th century.

Criterion (ii): Since the 18th century, the Botanic Gardens of Kew have been closely associated with scientific and economic exchanges established throughout the world in the field of botany, and this is reflected in the richness of its collections. The landscape and architectural features of the Gardens reflect considerable artistic influences both with regard to the European continent and to more distant regions;

Criterion (iii): Kew Gardens have largely contributed to advances in many scientific disciplines, particularly botany and ecology;

Criterion (iv): The landscape gardens and the edifices created by celebrated artists such as Charles Bridgeman, William Kent, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and William Chambers reflect the beginning of movements which were to have international influence;


The boundary of the property contains the elements that bear witness to the history of the development of the landscape gardens and Kew Gardens' uninterrupted role as national botanic garden and centre of plant research. These elements, which express the Outstanding Universal Value, remain intact. The Buffer Zone contains the focus of one of the garden vistas on the opposite bank of the Thames River - Syon Park House - together with other parts of the adjacent cultural landscape (Old Deer Park - a royal estate south of Kew Gardens, Syon Park on the opposite bank of the Thames, the river from Isleworth Ferry Gate to Kew Bridge, the historic centre of Kew Green with the adjacent buildings and the church, and then to the east, the built-up sectors of 19th and 20th century houses). Development outside this Buffer Zone may threaten the setting of the property.


Since their creation in the 18th century Kew Gardens have remained faithful to their initial purpose with botanists continuing to collect specimens and exchange expertise internationally. The collections of living and stored material are used by scholars all over the world.

The 44 listed buildings are monuments of the past, and reflect the stylistic expressions of various periods. They retain their authenticity in terms of design, materials and functions. Only a few buildings are being used for a purpose different from that originally intended (the Orangery now houses a restaurant). Unlike the works of architecture, in each of the landscaped garden areas, the past, present and future are so closely interwoven (except in the case of vestigial gardens created by significant artists, such as the vistas), that it is sometimes difficult to separate the artistic achievements of the past in terms of the landscape design of the different periods. Recent projects such as recutting Nessfield's beds behind the Palm House have started to interpret and draw attention to the earlier landscapes created by Capability Brown and Nessfield. Other projects are proposed in the overall landscape management plan subject to resourcing.

Protection and management requirements

The property includes the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte's Cottage, which are the hereditary property of Queen Elizabeth II and are managed for conservation purposes by the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and Historic Royal Palaces.

The property is included in a conservation area designated by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Part of the Buffer Zone is protected by a conservation area in the London Borough of Hounslow. Forty four buildings and structures situated on the site have been listed under the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990 as buildings of special architectural and historical interest. The whole site is Grade I on the English Heritage Register of Park and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England Permission to carry out works or change functions is subject to the approval of the local authorities, who consult English Heritage in the case of listed buildings and conservation areas.

Protection of the property and the Buffer Zone is provided by development plans in the planning systems of the London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Hounslow and by the London Plan (the Regional Spatial Strategy) and by designation.

Kew Gardens' conservation work has continued at an international level, notably for the cataloguing of species, supporting conservation projects around the world, the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, 1975) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992).

The property has a World Heritage Site Management Plan, a Property Conservation Plan, and a Master Plan. Implementation of the Management Plan is coordinated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The World Heritage Site Management Plan is currently being revised alongside a specific landscape master plan. 

At the time of inscription the World Heritage Committee encouraged the State Party to include on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens a landscape architect or other specialist qualified in the history of art and history in general, so that architectural conservation activities can be coordinated on-site.  Landscape architects with experience of working in historic landscapes have been appointed to provide this advice.   

Activities 1