click photo to enlarge
We tend to think of the conservatory as an adjunct to Victorian and Edwardian houses, and they were certainly popular in during those periods. However, the glasshouse and orangery pre-date the nineteenth century and rose to popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
English country houses built orangeries in their kitchen gardens or elsewhere near the residence for the cultivation of not just oranges, but peaches, grapes and other fruits. They were primarily hot-houses, heated by fuel in winter, for the production of fruits that could not be grown easily or at all outdoors in our country, and were secondarily ornamental additions to the grounds.
The orangery at Belton House in Lincolnshire is less ornate than many - a large rectangular building, glass fronted with stone piers and Coade stone balustrade. Inside are statuary niches and water features. It is currently home to a variety of climbing plants, palms and shrubs. It was designed in 1811 by Geoffrey Wyattville but not built until 1820, and then with a slightly revised plan. As with many orangeries the light, plants and warmth give quite sub-tropical feel to the interior and the favourable growing conditions encourage luxuriant foliage of the type seen in my photograph.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Photo Title: Statues, Orangery, Belton House, Lincolnshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 20mm (40mm - 35mm equiv.) crop
F No: f4.3
Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On