An historic glasshouse at a North East hotel is being brought back to life after being closed to the public for 70 years.
Around £160,000 has been invested in recreating the glass structure at Wynyard Hall, near Hartlepool, in time for its opening in September.
The 31-metre glasshouse, which dated back to the 1840s, is a highlight of the newly-developed kitchen garden at the luxury hotel and spa and the original was frequently used until the 1940s when it fell into disrepair.
Towering seven metres high and using 224 glazed sections, the huge construction took more than six weeks to build and, mirroring the original glasshouse, has been built against a Victorian redbrick kitchen garden wall, which has been painstakingly restored.
In the 1840s, the original greenhouse was one of the largest lean-to glasshouses in the UK and was used to grow exotic delicacies, such as pineapples, for generations of the Londonderry family.
Built bespoke for Wynyard Hall by Oldham firm Hartley Botanics as part of a new Edible Garden at the hotel – which will supply the restaurant, café and farm shop with organic fruit and vegetables to eat and to take away – the Glasshouse will also be used for day to day propagation of unusual plants such as wasabi, kiwi and lemon grass.
In the second half of the Glasshouse, there will be an event space for workshops with scarecrow making, pumpkin carving and jam and chutney making already planned for the autumn.
There will also be a florist, offering workshops and bouquets for prospective brides, a Victorian-style tuck shop and a retail space selling plants and garden gifts.
Wynyard’s estate manager Sara Fortune said: “We wanted to bring a bit of Wynyard history to life – and create a community hub at the heart of the estate. “It’s so exciting to see it finally come to fruition.”
The new Glasshouse and Edible Garden is part of a £5.2million development plan at Wynyard Hall, which has seen a new visitor centre, farm shop and rose garden open in the last 18 months.