£4m heritage funding to preserve RBGE's A-listed glasshouses
April 11 2022
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £4m to restore two A-listed Palm Houses and a modernist range of glasshouses from the 1960s at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (RBGE).
Funding secures the future of the octagonal tropical Palm House, dating from 1834 and a larger Temperate Palm House from 1855, designed by Robert Matheson.
Both Palm Houses are considered to be outstanding examples of Victorian engineering with cast-iron columns and vertical glazing providing a safe home for threatened species such as Amorphophallus titanum from Sumatra, famous for flowering at night and smelling of rotten flesh.
Simon Milne, MBE, RBGE Regius Keeper said: “Visionary interpretation and activities will communicate the vulnerability of life on Earth, providing intellectual and physical access to plants, their applications in all our lives and the need for habitat conservation. By inspiring everyone to care about the environment and play their part, there is real opportunity to make tangible change.”
The restoration work dovetails with the ambitious Biomes initiative to establish a new visitor experience centred on a contemporary glasshouse that will simulate a tropical environment and provide a new main entrance.
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