A cottage is to be simultaneously the oldest and newest building in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The building was originally the central reception of the first such garden in the Scottish capital but as it faced demolition, it was moved to a new home in the current garden.

Rebuilt brick by brick, the historic Botanic Cottage is a piece of history that has been moved wholesale across the city with the project now of the verge of completion.

Between 1764 and 1821, the Botanic Cottage was the centrepiece of the earlier Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh site on Leith Walk, and housed a lecture theatre in which generations of students were inspired in science and medicine.

Nearly 200 years after the garden's move to Inverleith, the cottage was only weeks away from being bulldozed in 2008 before a group of enthusiasts secured the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to document and dismantle the building stone by stone.

It was originally designed by noted architects John Adam and James Craig, the latter responsible for designing the layout of Edinburgh’s New Town just a few years later in 1767.

The RGBE blog update, which outlines progress on the project that was set up initially by the Friends of Hopetoun Crescent Garden, said: “Anyone who visits the demonstration garden will see how much progress has been made in the last couple of months, with the full shape of the building now visible, from the historic cottage in the centre, to the newly built wings on either side, which contain classrooms where there would once have been garden outbuildings hidden behind the wing walls.

“Already, when one stands in the different rooms of the cottage, it feels like a friendly, welcoming place.

"This is not a cold, soulless modern building, rather, it is one which is rich in history and which has been alive with work and family life for centuries, and the future use of the cottage will reflect this.

“We are now actively planning for when the cottage opens this autumn, and are looking forward to welcoming visitors into what we hope will be a wonderful addition to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh."

The Friends of Hopetoun Crescent Garden group received a grant of £48,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the first stage refurbishment of the "historically significant" cottage, which once lay between Annandale Street and MacDonald Road. However funds are still being raised.