Celebrating 190 years of ZSL London Zoo. ZSL London Zoo `officially’ opened on 27 April 1828.

by Ann Sylph on

Celebrating 190 years of ZSL London Zoo. ZSL London Zoo `officially’ opened on 27 April 1828. The Daily Occurrences for this first day records the Duke of Wellington as a `notable visitor’, he was Prime Minister at that time. Also attending were Lord Auckland, ZSL's Vice-President and Nicholas Vigors, ZSL's Secretary. There were eighty visitors on this first day.

Recod for the first day of London Zoo being open with `notable visitors' including Duke of Wellington, Lord Auckland and Nicholas Vigors
Daily Occurrence page for ZSL London Zoo on 27 April 1828

The Daily Occurrences are an important part of ZSL's Archives and are a continous record for both ZSL London and ZSL Whipsnade Zoos.

The Llama Hut was one of the earliest buildings on-site, it was designed by Decimus Burton. It was the first animal house to be built from brick and was completed by 16 May 1828. A clocktower was added in 1829. The building still exists today as a First Aid Post. This illustration from circa 1835 is by George Scharf.

Colour illustration of the Llama Hut with added clocktower circa 1835 with camels, goats and a zebra
Llama Hut with added clocktower by George Scharf, circa 1835

Do enjoy the following selection of early illustrations of ZSL London Zoo from around 1835. They are credited to  `Bouvier’, probably Augustus Jules Bouvier, (1800-1867) Born in France, he came to England and married Agnes, a Scot in around 1824 and had three artistic children. Bouvier worked in London as a painter of figures in watercolour. In total we have 10 of his illustrations of ZSL London Zoo

Black and white illustration of a wooden goat house with goats in the foreground
Goat House

Black and white illustration of ostrich with visitors

This illustration is a more general view of the site and you can see part of the existing East Tunnel which is still in use today.

Black and white illustration of a general early view of ZSL London Zoo including the Beaver House and the East Tunnel
Beaver House [and East Tunnel]

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