The Joseph Banks conservatory and John Dawber Garden

Written on Monday 8th March 2010

The Joseph Banks conservatory or tropical house is home to a wonderful selection of flora reminiscent of Banks' voyage of discovery. (Opening Wednesday-Sunday, different opening hours during Christmas Market week).


The John Dawber Garden includes a sensory area together with areas representative of Lincoln's twin town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany and its Friendship City of Tangshan in China.


Both of the above are contained within the grounds of The Lawn.


This magnificent building and grounds were, originally, opened in 1820 as the Lincoln Asylum, was the County's first purpose-built hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. The Asylum was developed largely through the efforts of local physician, the Reverend Doctor Francis Willis. A caring and pioneering hospital, it was famous for removing all use of physical restraint and isolation and developing instead on a sympathetic and rehabilitative environment for its patients. In the mid 1980s, with a change in emphasis towards the care of the mentally ill, the hospital became surplus to health authority requirements and was closed. Lincoln City Council decided to purchase the complex and its eight acres of grounds to establish a new visitor centre.


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