Construction of the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens in South Kensington, 1860-61

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Construction of Captain Fowke's Great Conservatory, 1862 International Exhibition at South Kensington
Construction of Captain Fowke's Great Conservatory, 1862 International Exhibition at South Kensington

This is a selection of images from a fascinating, rare collection of albumen prints documenting the construction of the extensive gardens built by the Royal Horticultural Society at South Kensington. These gardens were opened in June 1861, for the occasion of Prince Albert's last public appearance in London before he died. The 1862 International Exhibition was held on this site. These gardens served as the public display garden for the Royal Horticultural Society from their opening in 1861 until they were abandoned in 1888.

This is one of the earliest documentations of urban

landscaping. These photographs were taken between 1860-62 and show the breaking of ground on the site, moving trees, landscaping, building various structures on the site, the garden statuary, and a few images of the

finished gardens and the 1862 International Exhibition buildings.