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London locations linked to Darwin

Darwin lived in several locations in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Great Marlborough Street

Great Marlborough Street, London. © David Leff

Darwin lived in rented accommodation here from 1837-8, soon after his return from the Beagle voyage.

Upper Gower Street

Number 12 Upper Gower Street, which later became number 110, was the first home of Charles and Emma Darwin after their marriage in 1839. Charles Darwin moved in on 31 December 1838, and Emma joined him after their wedding on 29 January 1839. They rented it, furnished, and called it Macaw Cottage after the gaudy colours of its furnishings.

Their eldest two children, William Erasmus and Anne Elizabeth, were born here. They moved out in September 1842.

The house was bombed in 1941 and the site is now part of the Department of Biology, University College London. A modern block called the Darwin Building stands on the exact site of Macaw Cottage.

Grant Museum

UCL Darwin Building, Upper Gower Street. © David Leff

The Darwin Building, which bears a blue plaque commemorating Darwin, houses the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy. The collection was started by Robert Grant, an early mentor of Darwin’s at Edinburgh University.

Westminster Abbey

Charles Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey in April 1882. His gravestone and a bronze memorial relief are inside the Abbey.

Darwin memorial, Westminster Abbey. © Dean and Chapter of Westminster Darwin’s gravestone, Westminster Abbey. © David Leff

‘There is grandeur in this view of life... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.’ Charles Darwin