Orangeries are fast becoming one of the most popular methods for extending a home. More versatile than a conservatory and more cost-effective than extending an entire outer wall, orangeries are as functional as they are pleasing to the eye.
When you see some of the famous UK orangeries (and there are quite a few), it’s easy to see the appeal. In this article, we’re going to take a look at five of the most stunning orangeries to be found in the country as a way of providing orangery inspiration for your own project.
The Kensington Palace orangery was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who had overseen the construction of the palace itself. Commissioned by Queen Anne in 1704, it was built in the baroque style that was Hawksmoor’s trademark. The Queen originally used it for its intended purpose (protecting her precious orange trees from the winter chill), but also used the building for entertaining guests. Today, you can still see the original orangery, which is now home to a restaurant.
Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
Designed by Sir William Chambers, the orangery at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew was constructed in 1761 from brick and stucco (a form of cement plaster) and was, at the time, the largest glass structure in England. Since the garden didn’t attract enough light for the growing of citruses, the orange trees were transplanted to the Kensington Palace orangery instead. Large glazed doors were fitted to the Kew Gardens orangery, which was put to several different uses, being at one time a timber museum, then a tearoom, and now a restaurant. Proof, if any were needed, of the versatility of orangeries.
Margam Country Park
Margam Country Park in Wales is home to the longest orangery in Britain. Measuring an impressive 327 feet in length, the classical building took 15 years to build. This 18th-century orangery was designed by architect Anthony Keck to catch the eye and hold it there. It is a dramatic piece of architecture, with 27 tall, narrow windows to let in the sunlight onto dozens of lemon, orange, and citron trees. The tall windows meant that sunlight could fill the building even on a winter’s day. Today, the orangery is a popular venue for wedding receptions and conferences.
Keddleston Hall in Derbyshire is a National Trust property with an unusually positioned orangery. As the name implies, most orangeries were built to facilitate the growing of oranges in a less than favourable climate. For this reason, orangeries in the UK are built facing south to maximise the hours of sunlight. Keddleston’s orangery faces east, meaning it is a sun trap first thing in the morning but obscured by shadow the rest of the day. Since modern orangeries aren’t built to cultivate citrus, why not position yours in such a way that it makes for the perfect breakfast room?
Orangery at Calke Abbey
Calke Abbey is another National Trust property with an impressive orangery. Originally dating back to 1777, it was further expanded upon in 1836, when a spectacular glass dome was fitted to admit more light to the building. The abbey and its orangery fell into decline until being taken over by the National Trust in 1985. While the orangery has been made structurally sound and can be viewed by visitors, the decision was made to leave the plaster and paintwork in the condition the building was bought in, leaving it a ghost of its former self.
The UK’s Most Impressive Orangeries: Final Thoughts
If these beautiful historic orangeries have convinced you that you need one of your own, give the team at DLP Associates (Buildings) Ltd a call today. We work closely with our Hampshire clients to design unique and beautiful orangeries that match their original vision for the building. We also provide a full orangery installation service to help make that vision a reality. Call us on 01256 474 617 or 07836 375 133 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free consultation.