Sovereign Home Improvements of Grays has announced that it is getting more enquiries from people in the county who wish to have an orangery built.
Managing Director, Matthew Adair, said…
“We build quite a number of extensions in Essex, and more and more people are asking about having an orangery built. People are looking for something a little more than a conservatory and although they are similar, an orangery has more brickwork than an extension and it is usually built with bricks to match the house.”
That said, some orangeries are built entirely of glass. They can also come with a variety of roofs, from a tiled composite Equinox roof to a complete solar reflective self-cleaning glass one.”
Orangeries date back to the seventeenth century in Italy when glass making technology had developed to the point where it could be made in large sheets. They rapidly caught on in Britain, where the wealthy and famous used them so that they could grow orange and other citrus trees and protect them from the winter weather. Of course, they had to be heated in winter and this was done using a stove or open fire. Unfortunately, these often produced fumes which could kill plants! Nonetheless, many orangeries were successful, and having a building with lots of glass, and a glass roof, made the wealthy appear even more distinguished.
One of the earliest orangeries in Britain was built for Queen Anne in 1704 at Kensington Palace.
She kept her citrus trees in it, and it was also used for fine dining and afternoon tea. Another at Margam Park in Wales was built between 1787 and 1793 and is no less than 327 feet long featuring intricately carved stonework and 27 very tall windows. It is only 30 feet wide, which meant that the light could reach the plants wherever they were placed. The orangery cost £16,000 to build, and today is Grade 1 listed as one of the finest classical buildings in Wales.
While today many people still decide upon conservatories in Essex, the modern orangery is definitely taking it a step forward. And there is, of course, no reason why they cannot be used for their original purpose of keeping citrus and other plants growing in the UK, as they can be heated in the winter in the same way as the rest of the home.
Certainly, growing an orange or lemon tree, or even tropical plants, can be something of a talking point when you have guests round for dinner.
Adair goes on to say that the cost of building an orangery is very similar to that of building a conservatory, so if you are going to add an extension to your home you could choose either.
An orangery doesn’t necessarily have to use brick in its construction and could be made using timber or aluminium framework if preferred. There are several different styles in which you can construct an orangery, such as gable fronted, a lean-to design, Victorian style, or Edwardian. Your orangery could even be ‘P’ shaped which would provide a long area for use as a sitting room, while the plants can be kept in the ‘P’ section. Of course, another choice is to design your own orangery from scratch.
The orangery doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to the home, either. Adair says that his company has built completely free-standing orangeries for some customers, which have the advantage of letting light in from all sides. Neither is it a requirement to grow plants in an orangery: some people have had them built to use for other purposes such as a pool room, a play room for the kids, or even for use as a home office. As a working area, you get the effect of being outside, while being able to work away from the rest of the home in peace and quiet and concentrate on the job at hand.
Of course, some customers of Sovereign Home Improvements still want a more traditional conservatory for use as an extra room, but if you are going to add an extension it is worth considering making it an orangery.