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Senior Gardener

English Heritage
Down House, Luxted Road, Downe, Orpington, Kent, BR6 7JT
£25,894 / 36 hours per week
Closing date
29 Apr 2024

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Contract Type
Full Time
Gardening Jobs
Charity & Voluntary
Senior Executive

Job Details

Title: Senior Gardener
Location: Down House, Luxted Road, Downe, Orpington, Kent, BR6 7JT
Salary: £25,894 / 36 hours per week
Job type: Permanent
Ref: 15443

Would you like to use your passion and creativity to nurture one of the country's most prestigious gardens and inspire visitors from across the world? With 14 main garden sites and dedicated garden teams, we are the organisation that looks after England's most important buildings and monuments, making sure our country's amazing history is available for everyone to enjoy. From world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, Roman forts to a Cold War bunker, we bring the history of England to life.

We are looking for a Senior Gardener to join our team at Down House, the home of Charles Darwin. Down House belonged to the great scientist Charles Darwin, who lived there for 40 years until his death in 1882. With its unique place in the history of science and evolution, Down House was Charles Darwin's family home - and today it is a site of outstanding international significance and place of pilgrimage for people from all around the world. After moving to the house in 1842, Darwin and his wife, Emma, re-modelled the house and its extensive gardens, which Darwin used as an open-air laboratory. It was here that Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection and wrote his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859).

Benefits include:

- Comprehensive training and CPD
- The opportunity to progress your career
- Apprenticeship opportunities
- Flexible hours
- Opportunities to go to some of our great live music or history events
- Free access to all English Heritage sites for you, another adult and up to 6 children
- 25% discount in our shops and cafes
- Corporate subscription / memberships to gardening organisations
- Enhanced maternity/paternity/Shared Parental leave
- 25 days' holiday plus Bank Holidays pro rata rising to 28 days after 3 years
- Options to buy additional leave
- Matched pension contributions up to a maximum of 10%

The Senior Gardener works closely with our Head Gardener. You will play a vital role in ensuring that all work carried out in our garden by our fantastic team of volunteers is to the highest of standards. You will find imaginative ways of bringing to life the stories that our garden tells, helping visitors of all ages to make new discoveries and bring the story of Darwin to life.

You will have a high-quality garden experience, ideally including experience in ornamental kitchen gardens and herbaceous border care. A key feature of the role is the upkeep of Darwin's iconic glasshouse in which he carried out observations on carnivorous plants, tropical orchids and climbing plants. Excellent plant knowledge and horticultural skills are essential and a talent for leadership and a natural affinity with people.

You'll enhance our visitors’ day out - from sharing your gardening knowledge, to ensuring their health and safety. Being able to ensure smooth running of weekly job rotas and input into the seasonal work plans are also a must for this busy and engaging role.

Find out more about us and what we do here, -us/. Meet some of our People and hear about why they enjoy working with us here

Everyone is welcome at English Heritage. We are always looking for people who reflect the diversity of the country today, to help us make it more relevant to the diversity of the people, communities and places we serve. From remote sites to inner city monuments, from regional teams to our Head Office, the diversity of our teams is critical to making sure our heritage is inclusive, exciting and accessible. We continually look for new ways to promote the past in a way that is inclusive to all and that celebrates the cultural diversity of England's heritage. By joining us, you will be part of a charity that is already on an exciting journey to tell everyone's story with an inclusive working atmosphere where everyone from all backgrounds, religions and with different needs will be supported. To support this work, we have a number of EDI networks that you can join as either a member or ally. These networks include Ethnic Diversity, Faith & Belief, Social Mobility, LGBTQ+, Neurodivergence and Gender Specific Issues

We would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to talk to us about this role before you apply, e.g. regarding workplace adjustments, working patterns, please contact Head Gardener, Antony O'Rourke, email: antonyo' or call 07442 985528. No agencies please.

Interviews will be held on week commencing Monday 6th May at Down House.

Closing date: 29/04/2024 23:59:59

So, if you’d like to join us as a Senior Gardener, please apply via the button shown.

Other organisations may call this role Head Gardener, Groundskeeper, Grounds Person, Horticultural Technician, Horticulture Operative, or Horticulturalist.


Joining us means working somewhere a little different. A career with us as part of our Gardens Team could see you conserve and restore some of the most significant gardens in England, and enable our visitors to enjoy the great cultural heritage of our gardens.

We have dedicated garden teams who maintain and bring to life 11 key gardens across England.  Our gardens illustrate the depth of horticultural history from across the centuries, from the Elizabethan garden at Kenilworth Castle through to the 1930’s gardens at Eltham Place, and vary in size from Down House, the home of Charles Darwin and his garden of international significance, to the magnificent Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight. 

Career paths

A passion for gardens and people is essential as our gardens provide the focal point of many of our visitors seeking to understand both the history as well as our future plans. You could join us within a number of different roles from Trainee or Gardener through to a Head Gardener or Gardens Advisor. Each site will offer a unique starting point from where you can shape a career that aligns with your horticultural skills and personal interests. 

Company info
01179 750739
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