Kitchen garden vinery project

Visitors entering the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy

The kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy was considered a highlight of the garden by former owners Walter and Henrietta Bankes and was in its zenith in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Here the family showcased the latest in garden technology in the extensive heated glasshouses where they grew the best fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs alongside exotic flowers to decorate the house.  So renowned was the kitchen garden that Queen Victoria sent her gardeners to Kingston Lacy to learn their craft.

Since 2009 the National trust has been securing funding to bring Walter Bankes’ dream Victorian garden back to life.  Exotic species of orchid, once displayed by the family, are now thriving in the orchid house and the flower garden has been restored to its original design.

The orchid house in the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy
The orchid house in the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy

 As part of the ongoing restoration of the Kitchen Garden we have now turned our attention to the vinery. The vinery was an ornamental glasshouse originally constructed by J Weeks and Co in 1879/9.  It formed the top of the quadrangle with the ornamental show houses but has fallen into disrepair and as a result was taken down a few years ago.  Since then we have been fundraising for its restoration and are delighted that it will be rebuilt this year with work starting in October 2017.  

The vinery in the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy
The vinery in the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy

The restoration will feature a new timber frame which uses fixtures and fittings from the original glasshouse.  It is the most recent of a number of projects and is the next phase in the ongoing work to gradually restore the kitchen garden to its appearance in the early years of the 20th century.  
 
Despite the loss of the original vinery glasshouse, the historic vines still remain, and these will be regrown in the new building and repairs to the existing glasshouses will take place at the same time.

We are still collecting for the work taking place in the kitchen garden.  Donation boxes for this project are located in the kitchen garden and anything you give helps us to look after special places like Kingston Lacy for ever, for everyone.