Designed by two of the most renowned’ architects of the 18th century – John Adam (brother of Robert) and James Craig (designer of Edinburgh’s New Town plan) – the Botanic Cottage originally stood at the entrance to a long lost incarnation of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, on Leith Walk.

It was built in 1764-5 as a home for the principal gardener, the main entry point for staff and visitors through doors in the wing walls, and a classroom in which every medical student was taught botany during the height of the Scottish Enlightenment.

After the Botanics moved here in the 1820s, the cottage was left behind. Turned into a private home, then offices and finally a van rental shop, by the early 2000s it was set to be demolished. Fortunately a community campaign, working alongside the Botanics, undertook research prior to demolition and uncovered a huge amount of information about the history of the building. A plan was hatched to save it – dismantling it stone by stone, numbering each one, and moving it across the city.

In 2014-15 the Botanic Cottage was rebuilt here, overseen by Simpson & Brown Architects. It opened in 2016 as a community and education centre, inspired by its original use.


    Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder sits in its cradle on a plinth on a sunny day

    Stories from the Biomes: A Change in the Weather

    Every day for the last thirty years, rain or shine, Senior Horticulturist Bruce Robertson has climbed up on to the roof of the Temperate Palm House to change the Campbell-Stokes recorder's sunshine card. As the restoration on the Victorian Palm Houses begins, the recorder's solid crystal ball is stored away for safe keeping.
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    Garden Buildings: Introduction

    Building for Nature Buildings have been important to gardens for thousands of years – from the humble wooden shed for potting to magnificent glass palaces in which to...
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    Inverleith House

    Inverleith House was designed by David Henderson in 1773 and built the following year. It stood at the heart of Sir James Rocheid’s estate, which comprised not only...
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    Caledonian Hall

    Built by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society when this part of the Garden was under their care, the Caledonian Hall is a beautiful example of a Victorian exhibition...
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    East Gate Lodge

    William Henry Playfair was responsible for some of Edinburgh’s grandest buildings, including the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland, but the East Gate Lodge is...
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    The Herbarium

    Officially opened by HM The Queen in 1964, the Herbarium and Library was built to house the collection of three million preserved plant specimens held by the Royal...
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    The Linnaeus Monument

    This handsome monument honours the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who popularised a system of sexual classification of plants in the 18th century. It originally stood in the previous...
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    Main Glasshouse Range

    When built in 1967 the 128 metre long main glasshouse range was regarded as the greatest innovation in glasshouse design in a century. The then Curator of the...
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    The Temperate Palm House

    Completed in 1858, the Temperate Palm House is the tallest traditional Palm House in Britain, with a height of 21.95 metres. Designed by Robert Matheson, the glasshouse cost...
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    The Botanic Cottage

    Designed by two of the most renowned’ architects of the 18th century – John Adam (brother of Robert) and James Craig (designer of Edinburgh’s New Town plan) –...