Until officially opened in October 2019, the glasshouses were a much-missed aspect of Walton Hall and Gardens estate. So, after three years of partnership working with Rosslee Construction, it’s fair to say that the conservatories are shining once again.
In September 1993, the conservatory range closed to the public and slowly fell into disrepair. Like its slow decline, planning for the fantastic restoration project was equally years in the making. However, thanks to The Heritage Lottery Fund, the restoration project received the cash injection it needed. The rest is history.
The glasshouses are now part of a thriving educational hub, with resident students from Myerscough College studying for apprenticeships and qualifications. Similarly, the site now supports additional needs learning via the Walton Lea Partnership. As a result of this partnership working, other areas of Walton Hall Estate will also see development.
The partnership aims to:
- Provide quality teaching and training for young adults and people with disabilities
- Provide engagement with the estate’s heritage
- Improve the estate’s conservation and recording
- Strengthen and diversify the existing volunteer programme
- Deliver increased public participation
The Glasshouses restoration
Contractors Rosslee Construction spent 17 long months on-site restoring the premises to their former glories. Taking great care throughout the restoration process to preserve the site’s cultural heritage.
The result? An important piece of culture is back with the community.
Our time-lapse video illustrates the scale of the works perfectly!
The repair of the conservatories is entirely in keeping with the original which contained thousands of pieces of timber. During the restoration, each piece of wood was removed, tagged to mark its original location and assessed for rot. Most of it was reused internally, with new wood used for the external beams.
Nearly all the original ironwork used in the glasshouses was repairable, reused and repainted. The original ironwork was paint tested numerous times, with the most prominent colour a beautiful powder blue.
Despite having to dismantle the walls brick by brick for assessment, Rosslee Construction reused over 90% of them with lime mortar. And, with most of the bricks dating back to 1899-1910, that’s what we call restoration.
Glasshouses opening times
The main glasshouse is open during park opening hours, and the Atrium will be accessible at all times. However, the wings will be closed during term time as students will be using these areas. There will be public access at weekends.
The Courtyard, Vinery and The Shippon yard will be open at weekends.