Founded in 1759, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew house collections that have been considerably enriched over the centuries, to become the most comprehensive on earth. Since their creation, the Royal Botanical Gardens have made a significant and uninterrupted contribution to botany and ecology. They are a leading centre of research, and a training ground for gardeners. The historical landscape garden features elements that illustrate the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th century. The three major conservatories of the Kew Gardens are the Palm House, which saw the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron, the Temperate House, the largest ornamental glass house, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, opened in 1987. Other significant structures include the Great Pagoda designed by William Chambers, and the 1631 Kew Palace, the smallest and most intimate of the Royal Palaces. The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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