Queen's Orchard


Wrought iron entrance gate designed by local artist Heather Burrell


The Queen’s Orchard is an enclosed garden located in the north-east corner of the park, dating from 1661.

Early records of the Queen’s Orchard date back to 1661, when Sir William Boreman, keeper of the park, began the layout and planting of the major avenues, the Giant Steps and this area known then as the Dwarf Orchard - all of which were completed by 1662. However, the mulberry tree, still found in the centre of the garden, is believed to date from 1610, and there is some evidence that other fruit trees were planted here around the same time. 

In the eighteenth century, the area passed into Admiralty use, and in 1807 to the Greenwich Hospital Trust. In 1862 and 1872, plans to build houses on the site were abandoned after local opposition. 

In 1976, the local Council purchased the site from the Greenwich Hospital Trust for housing, but all proposals were defeated following much public protest again. After this, the site remained largely inaccessible to the public and managed as a wildlife area until, in 2007, it was finally reincorporated into the park. 

In 2011, The Royal Parks began to restore the Queen’s Orchard to an early eighteenth-century design. A formal circular pond and wildlife pond has been built on the two sides of an artificial hill, and a series of heritage fruit trees have been planted alongside seasonal vegetables and flowers. A feature has been made of an old well discovered on the site, which has been capped with a wrought iron cover made by local artist Heather Burrell. In 2013, thanks to the help of local volunteers, schools and the Friends of Greenwich Park, the Queen’s Orchard restoration project was completed, and the garden opened to the public.