The historic conservatory at Leighton Hall has been given a new lease of life as a sustainable events venue.
Like many historic buildings, the materials used in the stunning Victorian conservatory were feeling their age, and the building had fallen into a state of disuse, due to the significant investment and specialist restoration expertise required.
However, Leighton Hall, home to the historic Gillow furniture-making dynasty, had a vision to not only restore the historic building, but use the latest sustainable building materials and techniques to create a calm space which maximises the benefits of their inspiring countryside location.
Thanks to a successful grant application bid to the Heritage Stimulus Fund - grant for programme of major works, the conservatory has been carefully restored back to its original design; a confection of gleaming glass and delicate white tracery. Thanks to Crosby Granger Architects and DEC Construction, both based in Kendal, modern techniques such as insulation made from recycled glass pebbles ensure the building performs at the highest sustainable, environmentally sound and future-proofed standards possible.
Estate Manager Lucy Arthurs, who still lives in the family home and manages the popular visitor attraction, says: “I remember my parents hosting plant fairs, exhibitions and events in the old conservatory, so it was terribly sad to see the state it had got into. In the current climate, restoring it has been a huge, and at times, a scary commitment, but the results have surpassed our hopes.
“We are already getting enquiries from companies and groups looking to have that meeting or celebration somewhere more interesting and inspiring than a bland office, or city centre hotel. We never take our glorious surroundings here for granted and it’s wonderful to think our conservatory will once again bring pleasure to so many people, from our regular visitors and tours to a whole new audience.”