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Royal Botanic Gardens – Plant Craft Cottage

City of Melbourne | C31

Plant Craft Cottage is the oldest building in a public garden in Victoria. It was built in 1850-51 as an under-gardener’s cottage to the design of Henry Ginn, the Colonial Architect of the time, who was responsible for the earliest layout of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Cottage was built as a symmetrical brick building of three rooms; a central day room flanked by bedrooms to the north and south, two of which still remain. The steeply pitched slate roof, ornate chimneys, brick recesses, leadlight windows and decorative barge boards are typical of a style of domestic architecture popular in England at the time. Other examples can be seen in Melbourne but are quite rare. Visitors can see the original handmade bricks which are exposed under the veranda. Until the Yarra River straightening in 1898, the cottage was perched high on the riverbank. Evidence of this is in the steep drop between the cottage and the path below, and the exposed rock face immediately behind the building. In the early 1900s, the weatherboard extension, with its typical bull-nosed veranda and cast iron lace work was added, and this extension now forms the entrance to the cottage.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10:30am-3:30pm

  • Heritage Listed: Yes

  • What's Open: Library, craft rooms, shop, garden

  • Special Note: Wheelchair access to the rear of the building

  • Tour Type: C31

  • Tour Details: Self guided with informed guides available, Plant Craft Cottage volunteers will be on hand demonstrating crafts and providing information about the cottage

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility, Wheelchair accessible

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Year Built: 1850

  • Transport: Tram Stop 19: Shrine of Remembrance/St Kilda Rd on routes 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 and 72


Melbourne gardens, Gate H, Alexandra Ave, South Yarra 3141, VIC


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