history & heritage

As the work progresses, we will be doing more research into the history of the greenhouse and the garden in which it is sited. This will be published here.

In the meantime, we have some opening thoughts on why this building is significant.

In the early 19th Century, hothouses, greenhouses and glasshouses – their construction, management and planting – fascinated, even obsessed, landowners, engineers, designers, botanists, physicists and, in due course, suburban gardeners. In this section we discuss why.

In short a number of factors came together. For ease of reference we have grouped them:

Horticulture and botany

Technology and physics

Loudon, “improvement” and magazines.

(A word on vocabulary, which is not always agreed or consistent in this area. My definitions are:

Hothouse: A glasshouse designed to maintain a constant relatively high temperature. How to do this without ruinous expense and without suffocating the plants taxed contemporary engineers.

Greenhouse: A glasshouse sited away from the main house with the frankly utilitarian purpose of growing or forcing fruit or plants out of season.

Glasshouse: An extension of the house (in modern terms, a conservatory) designed to house an indoor or winter garden.)

Pinery: A glazed structure devoted entirely to producing pineapples.

Finally we will include some more general pieces on the history of Felton which we hopwe will serve to put the building in a wider context,