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Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.


Brief description of site

Restoration of the Botany Gardens began in 1984 and works include a new pond near order beds with dipping platforms, coppicing and planting of exotic species in the woodland.

Brief history of site

James Allen's Girls' School originated as a small school founded in 1741 by James Allen, Master and Warden of Alleyn's College of God's Gift in Dulwich. The school moved to the current site in 1886, and in 1896 its Botany Gardens began to be planted, after the arrival of Dr Lilian Clarke as science teacher. Her pioneering approach included practical work in the school grounds with a series of ecological gardens created to enable the pupils to study plants in conjunction with insects and other animals in their habitats. By 1914 over 300 girls and part-time assistants were helping with the work and new garden areas and types of habitat were added. The gardens flourished until the outbreak of WWII but after the war they became neglected as the focus of the syllabus changed.

Location information:

Address: East Dulwich Grove, SE22 8TE

Locality: Greater London

Local Authorities:

Greater London; Southwark

Historical County: Surrey

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 176/177 Grid Ref: TQ331746
Latitude: 51.4547 Longitude: -0.0857487


Rail: North Dulwich, Herne Hill. Bus: 37, 12, 40, 176, 312, P4, P13

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The site is mainly private, but visits can be arranged by appointment and there are occasional open days.

Key information:

Form of site: botanic garden

Purpose of site: botanic garden

Context or principal building: school

Site first created: After 1896

Main period of development: Early 20th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Site Size (Hectares): 2

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