Curvilinear Range, Irish National Botanic Gardens, in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland

July 2014 Issue

Curvilinear Range, Irish National Botanic Gardens, in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland


The mystery photo in the May 2014 issue was taken in the Irish National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, a neighborhood in the Northside area of Dublin, Ireland. The row of greenhouses is part of a structure called the Curvilinear Range.

Most of those who submitted guesses, however, thought the picture was taken at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, England. There's no mystery why the structures are similar. Dublin-born ironmaster Richard Turner, who designed the Curvilinear Range, was also involved with the design and construction of the Victorian-style Palm Houses at Kew Gardens and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In the Glasnevin gardens (where admission is free), the oldest part of the Curvilinear Range is the East Wing, built in 1843. The remaining sections of the building were completed in 1869, when the size of each of the two extreme wings was doubled. Renovations done in 1995 used the structure’s original wrought iron.

Built between 1844 and 1848, the Victorian-style Palm House in London's Kew Gardens is 30 feet longer than Glasnevin’s Curvilinear Range, and, at its highest point, 32 feet taller than the central dome in Glasnevin’s row of greenhouses.

MARIANNE AYRES of Tucson, Arizona, provided the only correct answer. We thank Diane Harrison of Chesterfield, Missouri, for contributing the photo. Diane told ITN that she’s been to Kew Gardens as well and thinks the greenhouses at Glasnevin are more beautiful.
Curvilinear Range, Irish National Botanic Gardens, in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland