Moorbank Botanic Gardens

The Moorbank Botanic Garden was a university botanical garden in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It occupied a 3-hectare site on Claremont Road to the west of the main Newcastle University campus, and was developed in the 1920s. Moorbank was leased from the Freemen of Newcastle until 2013, when the lease was not renewed[1] and gardens were closed.

Moorbank Botanic Garden
TypeBotanical Garden
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NL, UK
Coordinates54.987°N 1.635°W / 54.987; -1.635
Area3 ha
Owned byNewcastle University
Operated byFriends of Moorbank Garden


The first plants at Moorbank were grown in 1923. The area under cultivation was extended in 1980 using plants from the collection of Randle Cooke, a plant collector from Corbridge, who bequeathed his garden to the university.[2] The glasshouse complex was erected in 1985 and holds collections of tropical and desert plants.

It was announced in 2012 that Newcastle University would be withdrawing its support for the facility as botany was no longer so important in its research profile.[3] The gardens closed in November 2013.[4]


The glasshouses were divided into cool areas (8–10 °C in winter) and warmer areas (min 16 °C in winter).[2] They contain plants being used for research.[5] Outside were formal plantings and collections of rhododendron, potentilla and medicinal plants.

Through a volunteer network the garden was opened to the public on certain days via the National Gardens Scheme.[6] The garden linked with Tyne and Wear Museums to provide environmental workshops for primary schools and was a venue for adult evening classes in painting and photography.[7] In 2012, the garden received Heritage Lottery Fund funding to improve public access to the gardens.[8]


  1. Henderson, Tony (1 November 2013). "Freemen of Newcastle snub claim over future of botanic garden". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. "About Moorbank". Newcastle University Biology. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  3. Newcastle University botanic garden set to close, The Journal, 17 October 2012
  4. Henderson, Tony (20 September 2014). "Touch of the tropics brought to Springwell village by green fingered gardener". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  5. "Plant collections". Newcastle University Biology. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  6. "Friends of Moorbank". Newcastle University Biology. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  7. "Education and Outreach". Newcastle University Biology. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  8. Newcastle University’s Moorbank botanic garden gets cash boost, The Journal 28 February 2012

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