The Orangery (Palm House), glass house and pavilion
The Orangery (Palm House), glass house and pavilion in the grounds of Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire. © Sir Thomas Ingilby
The Orangery (Palm House), glass house and pavilion in the grounds of Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire. © Sir Thomas Ingilby

Historic England Awards £343,000 Repair Grant to Ripley Castle

We have awarded a grant of £343,000 towards the restoration of a series of garden buildings in the grounds of North Yorkshire visitor attraction Ripley Castle, near Harrogate. 

The grant will fund repairs to the Orangery, Fire Engine House and adjoining pavilions and bothies (potting sheds) within the pleasure grounds of the 15th-century country house.  

This group of garden buildings are thought to have been designed around 1785 by York-born architect William Belwood. In 1817-18, a glass roof was added to the orangery to convert it into a palm house. Designed to grow tropical plants, palm houses were a popular status symbol in the 19th century.

Listed at Grade II*, the Orangery, Fire Engine House, pavilions and bothies collectively are amongst the top 10% most important historic buildings in the country. Owing to their poor condition, they are on the Heritage at Risk Register. However, the repair project will represent a significant step in ensuring their survival for future generations.    

Once the restoration has been completed, the buildings will be used for educational visits and to facilitate outdoor events including open-air theatre.

The project will aid the COVID-19 recovery in the heritage sector, as the work will be carried out by specialist contractors and craftspeople.  

These handsome historic garden buildings form the centrepiece of Ripley Castle’s beautiful grounds. Their restoration will improve the experience of the tens of thousands of people who visit every year, as well as provide educational and leisure opportunities.

Giles Proctor, Heritage at Risk Architect Historic England
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