Avery Hill Winter Garden

The Avery Hill Winter Garden, first built in 1890 by Colonel John Thomas North, is at the heart of Greenwich University. We acted as technical advisor to the university. The first phase concentrated on Chilean plants; Colonel North was known as the Chilean Nitrate King in recognition of his export of nitrates for fertiliser from Chile back to England. This will be available for viewing from 16 August.

Winter Gardens/Greenwich

The three-domed Winter Garden of Mansion House was created when Colonel North wanted his family to enjoy exercise in inclement weather. After his death, London County Council bought the building and turned it into an educational establishment, ultimately becoming part of University of Greenwich. The building suffered wartime bomb damage and the heating system struggled to provide tropical heat for the exotic plants in an increasingly leaky old building. The Winter Gardens were opened to the public in 1962, but parts had to be closed when the building became unsafe. The rising costs of maintenance, particularly heating, have escalated.


The first phase of planting has been carried out by Tendercare to our design. Weddles are very proud to have helped restore this beautiful Victorian glasshouse to its former glory. The University aims to complete the next two phases in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Winter Gardens/Greenwich