Down House

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    IT is just ten years ago since the British Association threw open to the public Down House, Charles Darwin's home, at Downe in Kent, which had been presented to it by Sir Buckston Browne as a memorial to be held in custody for the nation. The memorial rooms and the grounds are open without charge throughout the year except on Christmas Day, and the number of visitors during the past year is stated to have been 7,362. This figure is very close to the average annual attendance of 7,300 during the ten years since the opening, and since the village of Downe, four miles from a railway station and on an infrequent omnibus service, is probably less easily accessible than almost any other place within the radius of twenty miles from London, it cannot be felt that the number of those who make the pilgrimage to Darwin's house is unworthy of his memory. It has, in fact, always exceeded the expectations of those who are responsible for the maintenance of the house. The collection of Darwinian relics, remarkably complete from the first, is still receiving additions from time to time. The British Association, by means of an appeal to its members and others, is now acquiring the nucleus of a collection of books, magazine articles, and other studies and critiques of Darwin's views, such as appeared in large numbers especially after the publication of the “Origin of Species” in 1859. The Association will gratefully acknowledge any appropriate gifts to the collection.

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    Down House. Nature 143, 1015 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431015a0

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