Conserving Sunnycroft's conservatory
Sunnycroft's conservatory is no ordinary conservatory, it's embellished with stained glass, decorative finials and ironwork. We think only three examples of Halliday glasshouses survive in the world, which makes this one even more special.
Unfortunately, time has not been kind, and the glasshouse is starting to show its age; it is in need of full restoration. This will include work on the timber frame, cast iron and conservation of the stained glass.
How you can help
You can buy one of our Special Places Raffle tickets for £1 from Sunnycroft from when we open in February 2019. Every ticket you buy is matched by funds raised through the Trust’s National raffle, so Sunnycroft receives £2 for every ticket sold. The top prize for this raffle is £10,000.
We welcome donations at the property or find out more here to donate online.
How special is our conservatory?
The conservatory is a significant historic structure supplied in 1899 by R. Halliday & Company and is listed Grade II in its own right. It stands immediately west of the house, surrounded by surviving elements of the property’s aspirational ‘estate in miniature’ and is deliberately visible on the house’s primary elevation. It is elegant and refined, its remarkably finely chamfered rafters having a special quality of lightness while a sophisticated system of slender tensioned iron rods take the strain of the structure. Inside are contemporary fixed iron display shelves around the perimeter with decorative tufa rockwork beneath.
As well as this, its significance lies in the fact that is part of the additions and improvements that were made right at the end of the 19th century by aspirational owner Mary Jane Slaney, widow of a successful wine and spirit merchant in Wellington. She extended the house by adding the large reception rooms on the ground floor, including the Billiard Room and turret wing on the east side. Interestingly, the glazed ‘porch’ over the new front door in the turret was provided by Halliday, as was the iron and glazed-roof veranda across the whole of the south front overlooking the garden, both of these being ‘conservatory-like’ structures of iron and glass. Mary Jane Slaney also added the Drawing Room bay with French windows on the west elevation. This looks directly out onto the highly decorative Halliday Conservatory, allowing it to be clearly visible from inside the Drawing Room and providing a physical link between the house and the Conservatory.