UK: Appeal to restore 18th century glasshouse

Helmsley Walled Garden has launched an appeal to raise £25,000 towards the renovation of one of its historic glasshouses.

The Orchid House is one of the original glasshouses which would have been part of the working garden at its inception in 1759 and would have housed a range of exotic plants and orchids grown for floral displays at Duncombe Park. Now it’s a place where volunteers meet to chat about the work in the garden. Art exhibitions and courses are also held in this elegant space.

The Orchid House, which has almost 900 panes of glass, was originally restored from its derelict state in 2003. Now, nearly 20 years on, it once again requires remedial attention.

As part of the restoration, a new heating system will be installed to allow the gardeners to once again grow orchids in this elegant building. Other repairs will include general repairs, repainting, new blinds, and a watering system that uses the existing under-floor water storage tank.

June Tainsh, the garden manager said: “Renovating the Orchid House will provide improved year-round facilities for all our volunteers, especially those with mobility issues. We hold tutorials in horticultural skills such as seed sowing, hold coffee mornings, and exhibit work by local artists.”

Tricia Harris, marketing manager said “We were overwhelmed by people’s generosity last year when they helped us to raise £50,000 to keep our doors open after lockdown. "We are hoping that our friends and visitors will want to support us again on this next segment of the work to keep the garden and its historic buildings open and working to full capacity.”

To donate to the Orchid House Appeal, go to the donate to our appeal page at

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