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Written by Caroline Slater

10 fun and need to know facts about Conservatories

If you think that a conservatory is just another space in your home, think again! Conservatories have a long and interesting past and with modern materials and techniques, they now have an exciting future. Read on to find out 10 things you may not know about conservatories!

The first conservatories date back as far as the 17th century and were used to grow fruit. The 19th century was the golden era of conservatories and this continued into the Edwardian when the fashion was to use conservatories as tea rooms and sun lounges. You can just imagine those elegant aristocrats taking tea on their chaise long in their orangeries, can’t you?

The world’s largest conservatory is the Eden Project in Cornwall. It includes two “biomes” one of which covers 3.9 acres, is 55 metres high and 200 metres long. The other biome covers 1.6 acres, is 35 metres high and 135 metres long! The Eden Project is also a great day out!


The word conservatory derives from the term “to grow” after the use that most early conservatories were put to growing fruit. However, the term conservatory can also be used to describe educational institutions such as a music school. Thinking of your conservatory as a place to grow seems really appropriate at the moment with so many of us spending more time at home with our families, either working or homes-schooling.

The Palm House at Kew was built between 1844–48 and is the world’s most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure. It’s 363ft long, 100ft wide and 66ft high. It’s also another great place to visit.



The Crystal Palace is one of the UK’s most famous conservatories. It was originally built in Hyde ParkLondon, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851 and it was 564 metres long and 39 metres high. After the exhibition, the Palace was relocated to south London where it stood from 1854 until its destruction by fire in November 1936. The local area and football club was named after it!

The average life expectancy of a standard conservatory used to be around ten years. However, modern techniques and materials mean that a new conservatory should have a life expectancy of around 25 years.

If you want to add a conservatory to your home, then you can now sometimes do so without specific planning permission. Some conservatories will still require planning permission, but the rules were relaxed in 2019.

However, when it comes to solid roof conservatories the rules are different and you usually don’t need planning permission.

Installing solid roofing on your conservatory can really help retain warmth, allowing you to make full use of the space throughout the year. It can also increase the life expectancy of your conservatory as well as provide you with privacy and protect your furniture and electrics from sun glare!

You can now add tiles to your conservatory roof. If you love the look of tiles but think they are too heavy for your conservatory structure, then think again. Modern materials and production techniques now mean you can add authentic looking tiles to almost any conservatory!


If you’d like to know more about how we can help you breathe new life into your conservatory and start using it as a place to grow, why not get in touch today!

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