Conservatories have been popular across the UK for years, providing a great space not only for their original purpose of housing exotic plants, but as a place to relax and for a great view of your garden. Conservatories are closely linked with greenhouses, usually filled with plants and the feel of a warmer climate.
Across the UK there are conservatories of all shapes and sizes that have become an attraction for people travelling from miles away, and they can often serve as a bit of inspiration if you’re looking for your own conservatory!
From brilliant designs and shapes to exciting interiors, these well-known conservatories are worth a visit.
Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew
Princess Diana opened this particular conservatory in 1987 in honour of Princess Augusta, who was instrumental in founding the botanic gardens at Kew. It has become the most complex conservatory at Kew, controlling ten different climatic zones under one roof. Its roof takes on an interesting glazed ‘hill’ design, making it appear low-lying and angular.
Hampton Court Palace, London
In the grounds of the Palace, near the Banqueting Hall, lies a conservatory that houses the ‘Great Vine’. It was planted in 1769 and by 1968, the vine had a trunk 8 inches thick and 100 feet long. It still produces an annual crop of grapes to this day and has become an integral part of the grounds at Hampton Court Palace.
Syon Park, London
In the early 19thcentury conservatories, or glasshouses, were relatively small and not much different from orangeries of earlier years. The Great Conservatory at Syon Park was built by an architect who specialised in large industrial buildings and used new metalworking technologies. Built in the 1800s, the conservatory at Syon Park was the first to use metal and glass on a huge scale. Originally built to showcase the third Duke of Northumberland’s exotic plant collection, it is now an important historic structure still in great condition.
Eden Project, Cornwall
The Eden Project is the most famous modern day conservatory, and is the world’s biggest greenhouse according to the Guinness World Book of Records. While your first thought of the Eden Project may not be ‘conservatory’, thanks to its structure and purpose that is exactly what it is. Showcasing plants from all over the world in its artificial biodomes, the Eden Project is a highly popular attraction. It has a fascinating shape and structure that can’t be missed!
Palm House, Kew
Another stunning structure in Kew Gardens is the Palm House, one of the most important surviving Victorian iron and glass structures in the world. Its building technique resulted in the Palm House resembling an upturned hill, creating a vast and lofty space. A palm house is a greenhouse specialised for the growing of palms and other tropical plants; they were built as status symbols in Victorian Britain. The Palm House is now a spectacular conservatory open for visitors!