The Original OrangeryPublished on 13th September 2017
These days, it’s no strange sight to see orangeries bedecking the back of homes up and down your street, as their popularity grows year on year.
After all, the orangery offers the perfect compromise between indoor and out. Hybrid structures, somewhere between an old fashioned plain brick extension and the modern, forward thinking fully glazed extension, orangeries offer their discerning owners the best of both worlds – allowing light to flood in, whilst still offering some privacy.
Originally though, orangeries were used when two worlds collided, and the rich aristocracy of Britain wanted to show off their knowledge of the wider world, back home. Used to house exotic fruits such as oranges, hence the name, the not-so-humble orangery was just as hot way back in the 15th century, as they are today. Although, they were far less numerous. Denoting, not so much the on-trend style of their owners, as their vast wealth, and the vast reach of the burgeoning British empire.
As you would expect, these structures were therefore a rarity, and all the more prized for their unusual status, and the exotic and vibrant fruits they housed. The first estates to commission their very own orangery, were inspired by Italian style – as is so often true of architectural innovations – and in particular the Italian renaissance gardens.
Here on British soil, the original British orangery can be claimed by Chatsworth House designed by the famous Joseph Paxton, who also designed the Crystal Palace, in the 1840’s. The ‘Great Conservatory’ was a glass house and orangery of monumental proportions and truly began our love affair with this historical structure, here in the UK.
Since then, the orangery has evolved into a stylish, modern structure which can be used for domestic extensions, whilst still providing a grand garden room for stately homes and abodes across the country. Simple in design, but thoroughly functional in all their forms, the orangery has become a classic feature of British design – as well as the perfect place to spend a cosy evening with family or friends.Return to Blog