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Conservatory

Photo of pathway with bridge surrounded by greenery and plants in the Barbican Conservatory

Visit the second biggest Conservatory in London and explore our hidden tropical oasis in the heart of the city. 

Home to exotic fish and over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, a visit to our Conservatory is a perfect way to enjoy a lazy Sunday with friends and family. 

Did you know: the large concrete tower you'll see at the centre of the Conservatory is our Theatre flytower. 

 

 

Opening hours

The Conservatory is open on selected Sundays each month and Bank Holidays from 12 noon–5pm with last entry at 4.30pm. Admission is free, no booking required. 

Please contact the Box Office on 0845 120 7500 with any access related enquiries

Upcoming dates

  • Sun 4 Nov
  • Sun 11 Nov
  • Sun 18 Nov
  • Sun 25 Nov
  • Sun 2 Dec
  • Sun 9 Dec
  • Sun 16 Dec
  • Sun 23 Dec
  • Sun 30 Dec

Filmed in our Conservatory

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Photo of man playing piano

Watch: Barbican Sessions #2 - Felicita

In this Barbican Session, London-based electronic musician felicita performs Track 6 from the 2016 'a new family' EP in our Conservatory.

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Conservatory Facts

  • The Conservatory was designed by the Barbican’s architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, and surrounds the Barbican Theatre’s fly tower, from which scenery for productions taking place on the stage six stories below is lowered into place.
  • The roof is constructed of steel and glass and covers 23,000 square feet, providing cover for over 1600 cubic metres of soil, all of which was hand mixed to a specific requirement.
  • Two of the three pools accommodate koi, ghost, and grass carp from Japan and America, as well as other cold water fish such as roach, rudd, and tench, whilst the other smaller pool (located outside the Arid House) provides a safe haven for terrapins.
  • Visitors can also take in a unique afternoon tea during their visit, with a selection of handmade cakes and savouries each inspired by a fruit, flower or herb grown in the Conservatory. Book your place here.
  • Planted between 1980 and 1981, and opened in 1984, the Conservatory now houses around 2,000 species of plants and trees, some of which are rare and endangered in their native habitat. The species are a vibrant mix of temperate and arid types ranging from areas as diverse as the rocky deserts and bushland of South Africa to the coastline of Brazil.
  • A varied assortment of the extraordinary flora from around the world includes the iconic tree fern, date palm, the Swiss cheese plant, and coffee and ginger plants all under one roof.
  • There is also an Arid House attached to the east side of the Conservatory with a large collection of cacti and succulents and an overwintering collection of cymbidiums (cool house orchids).
  • For those wanting to learn more about the history and hidden secrets of the Conservatory, a tour takes place on selected Sundays led by the Barbican’s resident gardeners. Book your place here.

Conservatory

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