John Ray Garden

The Trust maintains a public garden which you are welcome to visit and enjoy. The garden is situated within the Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens and features a range of plants that would have been familiar to John Ray in the 1600s.

The garden was founded in 1986 to mark the 300th anniversary of Ray’s ground-breaking botanical publication, the ‘History of Plants’. It was opened by the late botanist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy. Please click here for more information on Ray’s botanical work and the ‘History of Plants’.

Visiting the Garden

There are signboards within the garden to help visitors of all ages explore the historic herbs, shrubs and flowers. Many of the plants are multisensory and we hope you enjoy exploring them.

43 Bocking End, Braintree CM7 9AE

Opening Hours: Approximately 08:30 – Dusk

Accessibility Access to the garden is via tarmac paths through the Public Gardens. The John Ray garden has level shingle paths that provide access to all the borders. There is seating within the garden.

For more information on the Public Gardens please visit

(Please note the Trust is not responsible for the content of any external sites)

Garden Refurbishment

The Trust refurbished the garden in 2009, assisted by a bequest from the Late Sir John Ruggles-Brise, a Patron of the Trust and a grant from Trinity College Cambridge. The refurbishment was undertaken by Cameron Landscapes.

Paul King of King and Co, The Tree Nursery generously donated the tree in the middle of the square. Langthorns Plantery supplied the plants in the four oak planters.

In 2019 the Trust installed new garden signs, telling visitors more about John Ray and the plants in the garden.