Down House, built in the early 18th century, was home to the great scientist Charles Darwin for 40 years until his death in 1882. After moving to the house in 1842, Darwin and his wife, Emma, remodelled the building and its extensive gardens many times. The garden was integral to family life. It provided a place of play and relaxation, a kitchen garden to grow food, and perhaps most famously a place for Darwin to experiment and test his scientific theories. It was here that Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection and wrote his ground breaking work ‘On the Origin of Species’ (1859).
This photograph of Darwin’s son, Horace was taken on the Sandwalk at Down House by his brother, Leonard around 1877. The Sandwalk Darwin's 'thinking path', a quarter-mile walk that formed the basis of his daily perambulations around the estate. He made regular circuits five times round it at noon, for example.