Darwin's Childhood Garden

Darwin's Childhood Garden

A fragment of the garden in which Charles Darwin spent much of his childhood


Alongside the River Severn
A static map of Darwin's Childhood Garden

Know before you go

1 hectare


Access is by arrangement only. We open the garden several times a year for guided walks.


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times


Best time to visit

All year

About the reserve

“I often think of the garden at home as a Paradise: on a fine summer’s evening, when the birds are singing, how I should like to appear like a Ghost amongst you,” wrote Charles to his sister in 1833, while aboard The Beagle. This fragment of the Darwin family garden was bought by Shropshire Wildlife Trust in 2013. While much of the formerly extensive grounds attached to The Mount, his birthplace and childhood home, have disappeared under housing, other parts survived in private gardens. No other part of Darwin’s childhood home is accessible to the public, so when we were offered the chance to buy this slip of woodland next to the river, we were thrilled at the opportunity to open up a cherished corner of his world. Through the wood, alongside an ice house once used by the Darwins, runs a path with views down to the River Severn. It was here 200 years ago, that the young Darwin was sent every day before breakfast to walk the path at the bottom of the garden. It was known as the Thinking Path and provided a regular time for thought and reflection. The habit became ingrained in Darwin’s daily routine and when he and his wife Emma bought Down House in Kent, they made their own Sandwalk through the grounds, carrying on the tradition of morning walks with their children. This land was purchased with donations from our members and supporters and  significant grants from the Jean Jackson Trust, Shropshire Horticultural Society, Shropshire Masonic Charitable Association and the Daniell Charitable Trust.                       We have recently been awarded £10,000 by Tesco's Bags of Help scheme to make the garden more accessible and begin the process of creating a woodland garden. The garden will be open to visit this summer. Visit our What's On pages to see our open days.   Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across Scotland, England and Wales. The scheme has seen three community groups and projects in each region awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge. Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.   The public voted in store to decide which local groups should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards. See the Bags of Help website www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp    

Contact us

Contact number: 01743284280