The Conservatory was designed and erected by Boyd & Son, of Paisley, in Scotland, who dismantled the original building into sections and transported it to Port Elizabeth, where it was re-erected under the supervision of Mr Fraser of Boyds. It was officially opened by John X Merriman on 12 September 1882, and was named after HW Pearson, Mayor of Port Elizabeth from 1871 to 1896. Over the years the building has been upgraded many times due to the deterioration and weathering of its construction materials by the extreme variation of internal and external temperatures and moisture that it receives. It was Pearson, he who suggested the establishment of the conservatory for the cultivation of exotic plants, water lilies and beautiful orchids.
The Prince Alfred Guard Memorial is probably one of the largest and heaviest architectural elements to have been manufactured by the Saracen Foundry of Walter MacFarlane, of Glasgow, in Scotland, and was erected as a tribute to the memory of the officers and men who died in a number of South African wars from 1877 to 1902.Including: the Transkei War, 1877 ; Basutoland War, 1880-1881; Bechuanaland War, 1897; and the Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902.