The Victoria Waterlily House


the house viewed from the west The Victoria waterlily house was designed by Duncan Ferguson, and built in 1854. About half the cost ( 550) was raised by charging admission to a horticultural fete, which was held at the Gardens on the 24th June 1853.

The house was was one of many built across Europe to house the botanical sensation of the time - Victoria amazonica, the Amazon waterlily. This gigantic waterlily was named in 1827, but it was not until 1849 that the first plant flowered at Chatsworth in England.

Until the 1920s, the west front of the building had elaborate finials above each column of the facade (right).

The first Glasnevin plants were grown in 1849 and 1854 but did not flower. In 1855 seeds were donated from Oxford University Botanic Garden and these successfully flowered that year.

The west front in the 1920s
inside view of the house in 2003
The first Glasnevin plants were grown in 1849 and 1854 but did not flower. In 1855 seeds were donated from Oxford University Botanic Garden and these successfully flowered that year. In recent years we have grown a different species - Victoria cruziana - which prefers somewhat cooler water temperatures, and has a taller rim to its leaves.

The house has now reached the end of its life, and plans are underway to commence a restoration of the building in 2007. You can see how fast these plants grow on this page...