Opening Times & Events

We are open Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm

See the WHAT’S ON page for details about our programme of Exhibitions and Events in 2023:

JOB VACANCY at Dr Neil’s Garden

Entry is free of charge (except for some advertised events) but we welcome donations – see our Support Us page. For commercial group visits, we encourage some payment.

The Duddingston Kirk Garden Room Cafe closed until Easter 2024.

No dogs allowed, except for assistance dogs

 

 


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Garden History

Nancy & Andrew watering cans by Graham McGirk

Dr Andrew Jardine Neil (1921-2005) and Dr Agnes
Emily (‘Nancy’) Neil (1919-2005)

Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil were a husband and wife team of General Practitioners whose practice was in the Meadowbank area, on the north side of Arthur’s Seat. They were an energetic couple who loved to go to other parts of Europe on their summer holidays, towing a caravan through France, Spain and Greece, collecting plants and young trees.

In 1963 Andrew and Nancy began work on part of the Duddingston Glebe (church land) known as The Calves Field, and Dr Neil’s Garden was born.  Though the ground had been used for grazing – for calves and geese, its steep slope and rocky surface made it unsuitable for growing crops, and thus so it had never previously been cultivated. The doctors liked to encourage their patients to assist in the Garden, thus allowing them to benefit from healthy outdoor activity and the tranquil setting beside the Loch.

The Garden has won a number of awards over the years and has featured in television programmes and many books and articles.

In 1997, Dr Neil’s Garden Trust was formed, in order to take over the running of the garden, and to safeguard its future.  The Garden Trust is a registered charity.

Andrew and Nancy Neil both died in 2005. In 2012-2013 the Physic Garden was laid out to commemorate their lives as doctors and gardeners.

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