Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Camellia House

On Tuesday we went over to Nottingham to visit a friend who is in hospital there after heart surgery.  We were early so we dropped into Wollaton Hall and Deer Park for a look around as it seemed a long time since our last visit.

 After looking inside the Hall where the Natural History Museum is housed and lunch in the coach house we wandered into the formal gardens drawn in by the sight of the glass house.

The Camellia House at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham is one of the earliest cast and wrought iron glass houses in the country.

It was built in the early 19th century c. 1823 for the Willougby family, owners of Wollaton Hall.

Until recently it was in a poor state of repair, the low pitched roof lights were so fragile they couldn't withstand the weight of heavy snow, or harsh gusts of wind.  It was in such bad conditions that it was listed on English Heritage's 'Buildings at Risk' register.

To complete the repair and renovation of the Georgian Camellia House the restorers completely dismantled the structure when 6,500 panes of glass were removed.

The iron framework was cleaned to remove years of dirt and corrosion, the floors were lifted and underfloor heating ducts rebuilt using traditional methods.

It is all looking very splendid now

The camellias are looking well and happy in their new home.

The Camellia House was built with a special heating system which is no longer used as at the time the family were collecting Camellias it was thought that they needed heat but in fact they are quite hardy.

I'll show you what we found inside this wonderful building, completed in 1588  from designs by architects John Thorpe and Robert Smythson for Sir Francis Willougby,  in my next post.


18 comments:

  1. What a superb building the Camellia House is - such good news that they have restored it so well. The camellia flowers look beautiful. My neighbour's red one is in flower but our white one still only has buds (often eaten by the squirrels!!!!). Look forward to your next post and seeing the interior of the Hall.

    Hope your friend is out of hospital soon.

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    1. Thanks, our friend was due out of hospital yesterday. There were many more flowers to come out on the bushes so I expect it will look good next week. Some of the interior of the hall was closed for a wedding (I expect they would have photos taken in the Camelia House) and the prospect gallery for the installation of an exhibition so there were only the main galleries open, Paul found a pterosaur cast he didn't know they had in the collection and has since contacted the curator for more details for his website:)

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  2. What beautiful iron work. Great that it has been restored. The camellias are beautiful too :). B x

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    1. It does look lovely now doesn't it?:)

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  3. They might benefit from being out of the wind and rain even if they don't need heat. The white ones especially can get quite tatty in bad weather.

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    1. Yes, the white ones seem to yellow and turn 'scruffy' before the reds and pinks, don't they?:)

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  4. How beautiful. How very posh to have a camellia house! The plants look as if they love being there. 😊

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    1. It does sound very posh doesn't it? The leaves of the plants looked very glossy and healthy:)

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  5. The camellias seem to like their house very much. It's beautiful and I"m glad it's been cared for recently. That's a massive building you'll be sharing about in next post.

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    1. It is a huge building but only a few rooms are open as galleries and a few of those were closed for a wedding so we only saw a few areas, it was interesting though as we hadn't been inside for years and there were quite a few changes:)

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  6. The restoration of the camellia house is beautiful. I must try to call in when we're in your part of the world. Jx

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    1. It is a great place to visit, there are walks to the lake and the deer in the park too, admission to the museum is free, there is also an industrial museum which was closed whilst we were there:)

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  7. That was quite a restoration feat! I should think it is lovely to visit the glass house on a damp and overcast day. I also hope that your friend is recovering well. x

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    1. Thanks, simone, friend is at home now with lots of rest and recovery ahead. The glass house is wonderful isn't it? I can imagine sitting in there on a wet morning or afternoon:)

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  8. I must go and see the camellia house. I rarely go to Wollaton even though it's only 10 miles away!

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    1. It was ages since we had been inside and I'd never seen the Camelia House before so it was great to find it:)

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  9. I've never visited this property though it's one I've ofter heard of. I'll look forward to seeing more of it. It's good to hear that the Camellia house has been restored.

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    1. It is an interesting place with much to offer, I hadn't been for ages so it was a treat to visit again:)

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