The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. The garden was founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research. Today it contains over 8,000 different plant species on 1.8 ha . It is one of the most diverse yet compact collections of plants in the world and includes representatives from over 90% of the higher plant families.
In 1621, Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby, contributed £5,000 to set up a physic garden for "the glorification of the works of God and for the furtherance of learning". He chose a site on the banks of the River Cherwell at the northeast corner of Christ Church Meadow, belonging to Magdalen College. Part of the land had been a Jewish cemetery until the Jews were expelled from Oxford in 1290. Four thousand cartloads of "mucke and dunge" were needed to raise the land above the flood-plain of the River Cherwell.
Copyright: CC 3.0