The restoration of the Scampston Hall, walled garden conservatory, Ryedale, Yorkshire is a remarkably unique project which brought back a beautiful Richardson Glasshouse on the brink of being lost to provide a range of cultural and educational activities. The project has required us to think imaginatively in providing clever and ingenious solutions to difficult problems to realize this wonderful project.
Caroe Architecture Ltd assisted the client to restore the historic conservatories and bothies that stand within Scampston Hall’s walled garden. Oliver Caroe was delighted to have been appointed for this project, having designed the Visitor Centre and Restaurant for Scampston in 2000.
The conservatory project won a first round pass for project development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This project is innovative in many ways – not least because it was a prototype and test for the public funding of privately owned heritage assets. We were closely involved in the funding strategy whilst also directing the conservation and design process. This project has been an exemplar for our core mission and purpose – delivering creative conservation and new uses for historic buildings and giving owners (and the building) the support they need to bring the project into reality.
The scheme addressed the inherent difficulty of achieving comfortable conditions for occupation of the conservatory, which was designed to hot-house plants. We took a very careful evidence-based design approach, working with and modelling the environment with our building physicist from Cambridge Architectural Research. The conservation approach to the building fabric also needed the greatest care, since the significant historic value we identified lies in fragile detail and patina.
Our most telling contribution to the project development was to achieve a good resolution of the programme, use, historic structure and environmental conditions for this unusual and demanding scheme.