The Fernery at Tatton Park
Reglazing Joseph Paxton's Fernery at Tatton Park
Client: Cheshire CC & The National Trust | Architect: Purcell Miller Tritton
The Story :
In 1850 William Tatton Egerton employed Joseph Paxton, the creator of Crystal Palace, to design a Fernery and an Italian Garden for Tatton Park. The mature gardens that we see there today are the result of his work and are currently cared for by a collaboration of the National Trust and Cheshire West Council. The Fernery is known today for being part of one of the most important glasshouses in the UK and is home to a vast variety of ferns and tropical plants.
Following years of patching up of cracked glass, Recclesia were asked to carry out extensive glazing restoration to the whole structure. There were broken panes of glass all over the glasshouse which posed a threat to the delicate plants beneath, not to mention the danger of glass falling onto visitors. Each pane of glass is over two feet square, and some one hundred and twenty were broken, spread across the giant canopy.
The work took place whilst the building remained open and the delicate flora remained in place. Recclesia teamed up with Nationwide Access who surveyed the site and provided us with several different machines to reach the difficult angles without danger of smashing further glass.
Recclesia staff are licensed by IPAF to operate access machinery - although our hearts were still in our mouths whilst operating the machines within millimetres of the glasshouse! The restoration work was carried out using only mouth-blown cylinder glass to match the original glass and we used some 250 square feet in the process. The glass was imported directly from Germany, where some of the finest blown glasses are currently being produced.