Chelsea Physic Garden
The most famous garden in Chelsea and the oldest botanic garden in London, the Chelsea Physic Garden was established in 1673.
Originally known at the Apothecaries’ Garden, its future was secured by Dr Sir Hans Sloane – founder of the Cadogan Estate – who purchased the Manor of Chelsea in 1712. Sloane studied with the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries as part of his medical training, and in 1722 he leased the 4-acre site by the Thames to them ‘for £5 a year in perpetuity’.
The only conditions set were that the Garden supply the Royal Society, of which Sloane was at that time a principal, with ‘50 good herbarium samples per year, up to a total of 2,000 plants’ – leading to it becoming the world’s most richly stocked botanic garden. The relationship between the Garden and Cadogan is maintained, with Cadogan honouring the £5 peppercorn rent due on an annual basis.
Today, almost 350 years later, the Chelsea Physic Garden continues its original purpose and is now home to around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, edible, and useful plants.
It is open to the public and hosts events and workshops throughout the year. For further information please see www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk