Attached to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, the Alnwick Poison Garden is an unusual garden. It is home to some of the world’s most dangerous plants though the garden is one of the many public gardens in England. Alnwick Poison Garden contains about 100 varieties of illegal narcotics behind its big black gates curated carefully. Among the dangerous plants in this unusual garden include poppies (used to make opium), the poisonous Atropa belladonna (also known as deadly nightshade), Strychnos nux-vomica (used to make strychnine), Coca (used to produce cocaine), hemlock (used to kill Socrates), cannabis and many more.
Alnwick Poison Garden is a recent addition under the Duchess of Northumberland. The project was started around 2000 and it took almost five years to be implemented. Inspired by the garden near Padua, Italy, the Duchess had the garden filled with narcotic, poisonous and deadly plants. However, the history of the Alnwick Gardens goes back to 1750. It has centuries old tradition of botanical interest in poisonous and toxic plants.
Alnwick Poison Garden is open for visit and visitors are led by guides who teach them about the plants and about drug abuse prevention. However, no touching, no sniffing and no cutting is allowed in the garden. The garden on 24-hour surveillance for the safety of the public and the garden itself. There are signs pronouncing ‘These Plants May Kill’ placed at the gates to keep curious visitors away from the poisonous plants. Some of the plants have special fences around them to avoid accidental poisoning or theft.