Museum Gardens

Sprawling between the river Ouse to York Art Gallery and Museum Street to Marygate the ten acre botanical gardens are home to a varied collection of historical buildings, trees, plants and wildlife.

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In 1825 the area of the gardens was designed by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for their museum, only open to members of the society.

The paying public were allowed limited access in 1835 after a visit from the future Queen, Princess Victoria.

Maintaining the grounds of the museum proved more expensive and time-consuming than the society anticipated or could afford and in 1961 ownership passed to York City Council who opened the park to the public.

The original design of the park was drawn up by Sir John Murray Naysmith and included a large conservatory which housed tropical plants such as sugar cane, coffee, tea and ginger and also a large pond to contain the rare water lily Victoria Amazonia. Today, although sadly both features have gone the park still carries the title of a botanical garden.

On a warm, sunny day the immaculate park is a great place for a picnic and is regularly filled with locals and visitors enjoying what is on offer.

Rare trees include a cut-leaf elder, three cut-leaf hornbeams, a red horse chestnut, monkey puzzle and indian chestnut as well as common varieties such as lime, yew, beech, oak, silver birch and walnut trees, which are home to the park wildlife which includes squirrels and peacocks.

Places to visit within the Museum Gardens:

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