The History Of The Conservatory

Conservatory derives from the Italian for storing or preserving (conservato) and the Latin word for a place for (ory).

Hence, a conservatory was originally for storing food. They were also a non-glazed structure, unlike modern-day versions.

Conservatories In The 1700s

Despite John Evelyn writing about the design of a conservatory in one of his books in 1650, the earliest known structure came much later. At the end of the 17th century, conservatories were stone structures. Moreover, they had more glazing than the building they were attached to.  

Back then, conservatories were more so a greenhouse. Scientists utilised them to protect plants and seeds that thrived in Australia and America.

The first conservatory in Britain was built at the Oxford Botanic Garden and then another at Chelsea Physic Garden. 

P shape conservatory with solid roof and french doors
Rosewood upvc victorian conservatory


Throughout the next century, conservatories grew in popularity. John Nash designed four glasshouses for Buckingham Palace in the early 1800s, but one of these ended up at Kew instead. It is still there today. 

Before 1845, England had a tax on glass determined by the weight of it. Hence, the glass panes were thin. Wrought iron was used for conservatories because of its strength. However, it was expensive at the time. In the mid-1800s, steel was in production at a cheap rate. Moreover, it was stronger and better in tension than wrought iron, so was used more often. 

Around the same time, the installation of the Great Conservatory at Chatsworth House was complete. Furthermore, this was the largest glass structure in the world. Today, the Eden Project is home to the largest conservatory in the world. 

The Modern-Day Conservatory

Following on from the Great Conservatory, conservatories had become more and more popular across the UK. 

However, during the two World Wars, conservatories were seen as being unnecessary. Moreover, the production almost completely stopped. 

Post-war, steel production rose again. In turn, so did the conservatory. 

Nowadays, many people own a home with a conservatory. Those who don’t already have one usually consider installing one. 

Furthermore, the change in technologies and materials over the years means that modern-day conservatories are more efficient and secure than ever before. There are loads of styles to choose from and options for design too. Click here to see more.


Types Of Conservatory







Garden Room

lean to conservatory

Enjoy Your Conservatory This Summer

Natural Daylight Helps You Enjoy Your Conservatory During the summer months, the extra daylight hours can influence our health. It is commonly known that natural daylight makes us feel happy,…

What Is GRP?

GRP products are becoming more popular amongst homeowners and their properties. Most GRP products are supplied for commercial use. However, they are becoming more popular amongst homeowners in the form…

Build A New Driveway

If your property doesn’t benefit from somewhere to park your car, you might want to consider installing a new driveway. Of course, this will depend on whether you have the…
double glazing lancashire

Energy-Efficient New Builds

New builds are becoming more energy efficient. The new builds that are under construction in the UK are aiming to be more energy efficient and eco-friendly. They are being designed…

Are PVC Floor Tiles Ideal?

PVC floor tiles are often used in the bathroom. Deciding on the perfect floor for your bathroom can take time and consideration. Laminate, linoleum, carpet, PVC floor tiles and hardwood…

Choosing Sofa Materials

The sofa is a place to relax, spend time with family or watch television. Other than your bed, there may not be another piece of furniture that gets used as…

Your Oven: Repair Or Replace?

If you have ever been without an oven, you will know how difficult it is to live off microwave meals and cold food. So if your oven is on the…