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Engraving of the Oxford Physic Garden, England, 1675

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Physic gardens were a common feature in the 1700s. They were used to grow plants for drug preparations and were arranged according to the properties of the plants they contained. For example, plants with spiky leaves were likely to be grouped together. The Oxford Physic Garden was founded in 1621 by Henry Danvers, the Earl of Danby. He donated £5,000 to set up the garden – the equivalent of £3.5 million today. It is the oldest garden of its kind in the United Kingdom. The garden is now known as the Oxford Botanic Gardens after a name change in 1840. This print is from Oxonia Illustrata by David Logg (1633/5-92), engraver to Oxford University.

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Glossary: pharmacy

The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.

Glossary: engraving

A technique to obtain prints from an engraved surface. Engraving is the practice of cutting into a hard, usually flat surface.