The Belfast Botanic Gardens Park 350

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Brief Description

The focal point of this public park is the early-19th-century curvilinear Palm House, fronted by bedding, walks and benches. The nearby Tropical Ravine is a late-19th-century glasshouse with an important landscaped plant collection. The wider park features some surviving gates and lodges and an extensive path network through areas of lawn planted with ornamental trees and including two herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a rock garden and a bowling green.

History

The park was established as a members' private botanic garden in 1829 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society. The Palm House was built in 1839, with the central dome added in 1852. The Stranmillis Gate was built in 1877. The Tropical Ravine was built in 1889. In 1895 the garden was purchased by Belfast Corporation and opened as a public park, which it remains. Several perimeter features, including the Stranmillis Gate, have been demolished, but the main layout and features remain intact.

Visitor Facilities

The gardens are open daily from 7.30 am. Closing times vary seasonally.

Detailed Description

The park is approached through a brick-lined entrance with the name of the garden on a sandstone panel.

The focal point is the curvilinear iron Palm House containing permanent and seasonal displays of ornamental plants. This overlooks an area of seasonal bedding flanked by walks and benches.

A short distance away is the Tropical Ravine, a distinctive brick structure with a glazed roof whose interior is a landscaped, gorge-like winding and undulating walk through tropical vegetation.

The remainder of the park is composed of extensive lawns with groups and specimens of ornamental trees, criss-crossed by walks. Features include the herbaceous borders, the rose garden and the rock garden. There is a bowling green.

Features
  • Rockery
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  • Rose Garden
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  • Tropical House
  • Description: The Tropical Ravine was built in 1889 to the design of Charles McKimm. It is a landscaped walk through tropical vegetation, externally housed within a brick building with a glazed roof.
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  • Palm House
  • Description: The Palm House is a curvilinear display glasshouse of cast and wrought iron designed by Charles Lanyon and built by the Dublin ironmaster Richard Turner in 1839. It is a pioneering and influential structure of its kind. The central dome was added in 1852 by Young of Edinburgh. The building retains its original decorative features, including external ironwork trim and ornamental grates and staging. It retains its function as a plant display house.
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Flower Bed, Bandstand, Herbaceous Border, Gate Lodge, Bowling Green Pavilion, Bowling Green
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The gardens are open daily from 7.30 am. Closing times vary seasonally.

Directions

In Belfast city centre, off Botanic Avenue.
History

Detailed History

The garden was established by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society in 1829 as a members' subscription garden. The perimeter of the park was marked by a series of gates and lodges, of which the most significant was the Stranmillis Lodge, built in the Venetian Gothic style in 1877 to the design of William Batt.

The pioneering curvilinear Palm House was built by the Dublin ironmaster Richard Turner in 1839 to the design of the architect Charles Lanyon. The central dome was added in 1852 by Young of Edinburgh.

The Tropical Ravine, originally known as The Glen and designed by the gardener Charles McKimm, was added in 1889.

The garden was purchased in 1895 by Belfast Corporation and opened as a public park.

During the early-20th century the ornamental plantings were expanded with the addition of herbaceous borders, a rock garden of 1931 and a rose garden of 1932.

Some land and features around the perimeter have been lost to development, including the Stranmillis Lodge and other lodges, but the character of the park remains essentially unchanged.

Associated People

People associated to The Belfast Botanic Gardens Park

Contact

Telephone

028 9056 9615

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • Belfast City Council

    Belfast City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS
References