Perhaps the greatest legacy of Trinidad Governor Sir Ralph Woodford (1813 to 1829) was his passion to beautify Port of Spain. The town was laid out by him and after all these years, we still enjoy the open spaces of Independence Square, Woodford Square, and particularly the Queen’s Park Savannah and Botanic Gardens. To assist him in achieving his goals, he appointed Mr David Lockhart as the first curator of the Botanic Gardens.
The Botanic Gardens was originally part of a parcel of land purchased by the Cabildo in 1819, comprising the Hollandaise Estate in St Ann’s which belonged to the heirs of the Mme Peschier. Hollandaise was north of Paradise Estate purchased in 1813 for the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Adjacent to the Governor’s house, the gardens, occupying 38 hectares, were laid out with exotic local plants as well as those imported from Venezuela and other Caribbean Islands, under the personal supervision of Governor Woodford and his curator. In 1952, the Emperor Valley Zoo was established on the western end of the gardens.
The well-maintained gardens remain one of the most beautiful parks in the Caribbean, with its wide variety of trees and flowers and well laid out footpaths. It is a popular site for walks, picnics and quiet recreation.
Address: Off Circular Road
Town/City: Port of Spain
Region: Port of Spain
Site Type: Natural Heritage
Habitat: Gardens & Parks
Off Circular Road, Port of Spain