From February 2009, visit the Home of Charles Darwin, Down House and experience Darwin’s world as never before
Down House newly painted
© English Heritage Photo Library
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, English Heritage is unveiling a major new investment programme at Down House, Darwin’s family home for 40 years and the very place where he wrote and published his theory of evolution that changed the face of science.
Rare and unique collections, including many of Darwin’s personal possessions, will be on display in a new exhibition on the first floor, covering Darwin’s life, his scientific work and the controversy it provoked. Visitors can also have an intimate glimpse into Darwin’s own scientific origins through an impressive and detailed replica of his cabin on board HMS Beagle—the vessel which was to be his home for almost 5 years as he voyaged the world gathering evidence for his work. See the famous Beagle notebooks on display for the first time and interact with these rare manuscripts via exciting new digital interactive displays.
A brand new handheld multimedia tour of the house and gardens will also bring to life the world in which Darwin lived and worked, providing a fascinating insight into the many delightful ways he gathered evidence using his own family and the surrounding environment as inspiration, helping shape the theories that continue to influence to this day.
English Heritage has recently restored the gardens—Darwin’s ‘Outdoor Laboratory’—to their appearance during his time at Down House. Visitors can walk along his famous ‘thinking path’, the Sandwalk, and see some of his outdoor experiments recreated in the garden and greenhouse, used to highlight the processes of natural selection. Also take time to marvel at the array of orchids and carnivorous plants on display, and witness a hive of activity in the bee observatory.
«A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.» — Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler
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