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The Five Most Famous Conservatories In The UK


Conservatories are one of the UK’s most common home extensions. On average, one in three residencies in the UK has a conservatory as an extension. Conservatories date back to the 1700s where they were originally used to grow tropical and citrus fruits. They were also used to grow exotic plants. Since then, conservatories have evolved and became extensions to homes across the world. Their popularity is likely due to their availability to design and is a relaxing, light opening to your back garden. Across the UK, there are many historic conservatories that are truly iconic UK structures, some of these people travel across the globe to see these breathtaking structures. In this blog post, we have selected seven of the UK’s most incredible conservatories and wrote a brief overview of each structure.

Great Glass House

The spectacular dome in Llanarthney is worlds largest single-span great glasshouse. Designed by Norman Foster and Partners, the raindrop shaped Great Glasshouse in imprinted on the Welsh Landscape. The structure comprises of 785 glass panel and is based in the hills overlooking Tywi Valley at a seven-degree tilt to allow maximum sunlight into the incredible dome. The fantastic conservatory is home to endangered plants from places such as Australia, Chile, and South Africa. The interior of the conservatory has been specifically designed to try and reflect the natural habitats in which the endangered plants would grow across the globe. Inside the incredible structure, the climate is monitored by computers and the glazed panels open and close to ensure that the correct temperature is consistently maintained. The conservatory opened in the year 2000 and ever since has been one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions. 

Eden Project

A truly iconic Cornish structure, the Eden Project is a must-visit in the UK. The great globes of the Eden Project were opened in 2001 and have hosted weddings, concerts, and more inside the UK’s incredible indoor rainforest. Each inflated pillow is constructed from hexagonal pillows of Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene (A fluorine-based plastic) as an alternative to glass as it has incredible strength and ability to retain heat. Inside the domes are over 1000 species of endangered plants, many which were planted from seeds. In the domes, you can experience the incredible ambience of four rainforests, which are tropical South America, South East Asia, West Africa, and tropical islands. An elevated wooden canopy walkway tours you through these worlds with the trees towering above you. The Eden Project is a unique, unforgettable experience that you will never forget and is definitely worth visiting. 

Syon Park Great Conservatory

This incredible conservatory in Brentford, West London has featured in many films and TV shows including Bridget Jones Diary and the Avengers, so if you haven’t visited this building in real life, you’re likely to recognise this excellent building. The conservatory is constructed from stone, cast iron and grass, and was the brainchild of architect Chris Fowler. Inside the conservatory is a variety of palm trees and the exposed stonework makes it a highly memorable place to explore. The stunning Syon Park conservatory is iconic for its large dome in the centre of the building. The great conservatory is a family house, and is, in fact, the Duke of Northumberland’s home, and has been owned by his family for over 400 years. The grounds offer a lot ot see, including a spectacular garden. This incredible building is a must-visit in London. 

Temperate House

The Temperate House very much encompasses all of the elements of a traditional conservatory build. The temperate house is the worlds largest botanical glasshouse. You certainly will not miss this when visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The conservatory opened in 1863, but construction on the home continued for a further 36 years. The temperate house itself is a conservation area for some of the worlds most threatened plants, over 1500 temperate species, of all which need temperatures of over ten degrees in order to survive. In fact, to ensure constant consistency, the glass has a sensor mechanism to ensure temperatures remain steady for the plants to grow efficiently. You also will not miss the 116 pale urns surrounding the top of the house. Copies of originals which are likely to have sold to fund its restoration. We’d definitely recommend visiting this stunning building in London. 

Barbican Conservatory

When stepping inside the incredible conservatory, you’ll shortly notice that it is not your average conservatory. The Barbican Conservatory is the second-largest in London and is an immense tropical paradise. At the conservatory, there is a large concrete tower situated in the centre, which is home to the barbican theatre fly tower. Despite this, the Barbican conservatory follows the traditional style of build with large glass panelling and a glass roof. The conservatory features fish-filled ponds and also hosts a wide variety of events. 


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