Darwin's Landscape Laboratory is the house, gardens and countryside near London where Darwin lived and worked for the forty years of his scientific maturity including his work on 'The Origin of Species'.
'One problem of great importance....is the tendency in organic beings descended from the same stock to diverge in character as they become modified...I can remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me; and this was long after I had come to Down.' Charles Darwin, Autobiography 1876
This landscape is of outstanding universal value because of its unique cultural significance as the open-air laboratory in which the theory of evolution by natural selection was developed. It provided unique insights into the scientific understanding of natural life and biodiversity. The ideas that were developed from daily observations and experiments at Downe have had a profound influence on the life sciences, medicine, agriculture, philosophy, the creative arts and general views of humankind's relation to other living creatures in the natural world.
The character of the neighbourhood is conserved and many of the settings that Darwin lived and worked in for forty years; with the many plant, insect and animal species that were observed there can still be seen in existing habitats today. The protection, presentation and explanation of the living organisms and natural processes that Darwin studied around Downe are central features of the site.
The surviving landscape and buildings bear unique testimony both to his outstanding contribution to human understanding of natural life and to the ways of working he developed there. His ideas and methods are now basic to the scientific investigation of living processes in the natural world. Find out more about this important part of our heritage.
A Unique Site for the Heritage of Science
Download this information leaflet that introduces you to Darwin's Landscape Laboratory, a unique site for the heritage of science.
The year is 1852. The Crystal Palace has recently been moved to Penge from Hyde Park and leading scientist Richard Owen and sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse-Hawkins have been commissioned to create a series of life sized models depicting extinct animals. Join them as they discuss how to construct the world's first dinosaur theme park.
Download this FREE exciting new audio trail onto you Mp3 Player or mobile phone.