Emma Armstrong is Project
Coordinator for the Quarry Bank Project. We asked Emma to contribute to our blog and tell us about the progress of the project that will see the glasshouse in the Upper Garden at Quarry Bank restored to its former glory.
Quarry Bank is a National Trust
property and is one of Britain's greatest industrial heritage sites. You can currently visit
the cotton mill, mill owner’s garden and Apprentice House where child workers
lived. As part of the project we will be opening the Greg family home and a
worker’s cottage, restoring the Northern Woods and reuniting this complete
industrial community for this first time in eighty years.
There is so much happening and
I’m writing this post to tell you about the fantastic restoration work
currently taking place in the Upper Garden at Quarry Bank. With the support of
the Heritage Lottery Fund we are restoring the rare curvilinear glasshouse and
back-sheds, which will be used to tell the story of the garden. We are also
building a Gardener’s Compound and opening and a garden café and shop. This is
the first major package of capital works that form the Quarry Bank Project. For
more information about the whole project please visit...http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank
The Upper Garden
It is amazing to think that
the National Trust only acquired the Upper Garden in 2010 and already it has
changed dramatically. The Victorian dipping pond and small glasshouse have been
restored and the fantastic views down to the mill have been uncovered.
The Upper Garden when it was
acquired ©Quarry Bank
The Upper Garden today ©National
Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
The jewel in the crown is the
derelict curvilinear glasshouse built in the 1830s. Here the Greg Family
displayed exotic plants, and grew grapes and soft fruits. Its modern design,
materials and the huge amount of glass sent a clear message to guests about
their success and position in society.
Unfortunately, the glasshouse
was severely damaged by neglect before the National Trust was able to acquire
it. Since this time we have cleared it out and made it secure.
The glasshouse when it was
acquired by the National Trust ©Quarry Bank
The glasshouse in 2015, before
the restoration work began ©Nick King
How is the restoration progressing?
to the Heritage Lottery Fund and our many other wonderful funders, work began
to repair and reinstate the glasshouse in October 2015. Armitage Construction
were successful in their bid to be our contractors and they have been working
tirelessly to complete our plans.
Our plan is to fully return
the glasshouse to its former glory including re-building the demolished section
of the west vinery. We do not have the original architectural plans but our
National Trust experts and external architects and archaeologists have carried
out survey work and have been able to piece together a clear understanding of how
the building was created. We also have information in our archives including
photographs, letters, diaries, maps and garden plant orders mean that we can
restore the structure and present it with a high degree of authenticity.
Armitage were on site, the glasshouse frame was carefully dismantled by
Dorothea, historic metalwork restorers, and taken to their workshop in Bristol.
Over six months the engineers carried out painstaking work to the structure to make repairs,
identify missing pieces and examine the extent of the damage. At the same time Barr
& Grosvenor were casting new pieces to replace original pieces that could
not be salvaged.
all of their hard work, the frame was returned on 4th April 2016 and
is currently being built onto the existing wall. They are currently installing
the central curvilinear section and will be working on the two vineries in May.
Glasshouse frame currently being installed ©Michael Erskine
the frame has been installed the glaziers will arrive on site and begin to fit
over 7,400 panes of glass. If you come and visit us over the summer you will be
able to watch their progress. I’m sure that it will be quite a spectacle. We
hope to complete the glasshouse restoration in the autumn ready for you to
enjoy when the garden reopens in spring 2017.
What are our other plans for
the Upper Garden?
The Upper Garden has been
transformed in recent years thanks to the hard work of our garden staff, Sarah,
Ann, Stefan, Jonathan and Tom, and the 67 members of our volunteer team. In
April, they were rewarded with the opening of their new compound, which will
give them a space to relax and work when not in the garden.
In April, the new garden café
was opened. This glass building situated in the beautiful surroundings of the
garden is a great place to enjoy tea, cake and a range of snacks and
New garden café at Quarry Bank
Behind the glasshouse sit the
back sheds. These small rooms were used for garden storage, sowing seeds,
planting and looking after the heating system that kept the glasshouse heated.
Unfortunately, when the National Trust acquired the back-sheds only the walls
Back sheds currently being
rebuilt (opening June 2016) ©Derek Hatton
After months of work, the back
sheds will be fully restored and open for you all to visit in July. There will
be rooms that tell the unearthed story of the gardens, toilets and a new garden
There is so much to see and do
at Quarry Bank. Please come and visit us.
If you would like to know more
about the four year Quarry Bank Project and how you can donate to help us to complete
our plans please visit...http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank/our-work/