This mulberry tree at Down House in Kent survives from the time when Charles Darwin and his family lived here. The Darwin children would climb down the tree from their first floor bedrooms to play in the garden or help their father with his experiments.
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).