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Victorian Design, Standing The Test Of Time


We have many things to thank the Victorians for; photography, Christmas cards, flushing public toilets, to name but a few. But personally speaking I’m most grateful for the architecture. Truly great buildings, still here almost 200 years later, created with such craftsmanship it amazes me just how they managed to construct such masterpieces without the luxury of modern day techniques and equipment. As the Victorians developed new materials and technologies their buildings transformed, including the growth in popularity of glass houses. Take for example The Crystal Palace, the magnificent glass structure erected in Hyde Park to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. And Joseph Monier, a principle inventor of reinforced concrete, developed his material to aid his work at the orangery in the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre in Paris.

Elegant glasshouses were built to maximise natural sunlight and create the perfect warmth to grow citrus trees and exotic plants. Originally iron and glass and heated by charcoal braziers, our modern day equivalent, the conservatory, now uses aluminium, timber or UPVC with more sophisticated heating systems.

Today’s conservatories and orangeries may still house the odd plant or orange tree, but are much more likely to be needed for the extra living space. Indeed if you have a Victorian sized family, a glass extension will be a much needed addition to your home. And whatever the period your home was built there will be a conservatory design to suit.

The glass houses of the 18th century where originally an extension to the existing property, much as we imagine a conservatory today, but later progressed to being positioned away from the main house, which of course is also possible now for those wanting more of a garden room, with the correct approvals in place.

If you are thinking about enhancing your home with a great Victorian invention, but don’t know where to start then please contact us to arrange for one of our conservatory designers to help. Building a conservatory or orangery is a major project so make sure you find a company that has a proven track record, shares your vision and enthusiasm and will partner with you to create the perfect space, bespoke for you. You certainly don’t want to be left with a hot house you can’t use in summer, or a freezing room in winter that needs a Victorian style fire pan.

With advances in glass and framing technology it is indeed possible for your conservatory or orangery to provide a snug retreat in the winter and a cool haven in the summer but the specification must be right. Specialised glazing, tinted glass, essential vents in the ceiling and mechanical heating and ventilation will all play a part in giving you that homely extra space.

Here’s to the conservatory legacy the Victorians gifted to us.

Visit our showrooms for expert advice and to see our wide range of high quality, custom-built double glazed conservatories, glass extensions, orangeries, solid roof conservatories and Loggia in both aluminium and UPVC.


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Credit is subject to status and affordability. Terms and conditions apply. Finance on windows & doors is available to a maximum loan value of £50,000 with zero deposit. Finance on conservatories is available to a maximum loan value of £30,000 with a 15% deposit. £1,000 minimum order value applies to all finance options. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Hazlemere Window Company Limited at Cressex Business Park, Wellington Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP12 3PR (Financial Services Registered No. 796507) is a credit broker and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit provided by Hitachi Personal Finance, a trading style of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Registered No. 704348). 12/2019