Kew Gardens (officially the Royal Botanical Gardens) are a botanical park and research establishment situated in Kew, a district of West London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the southern bank of the River Thames.
An area was excised from Richmond Park in the 18th century and set aside as a botanical garden in 1759. It was gifted to the nation in 1841. It is Britain's main centre for botanical research and the propagation and maintenance of rare plants and has been the depositary for collected specimens since the scientific voyages of James Cook and others. . In this regard, it is the botanical equivalent of the British Museum.
Its grounds still contain many of the fine Georgian buildings that came with the acquisition of the 149 hectares (368 acres) of land from the original Park, including a small palace built in the early 17th century and originally called the “Dutch House".