Conserving Sunnycroft's conservatory
Sunnycroft's conservatory is no ordinary conservatory. Embellished with stained glass, decorative finials and ironwork, we think only two examples of Halliday glasshouses, which makes this one even more special.
Unfortunately time has not been kind, the glasshouse is starting to show its age and it is in need of full restoration. This will include work on the timber frame, cast iron supports and conservation of the leaded stained glass.
How special is our conservatory?
The conservatory was desisgned and constructed by R. Halliday & Company in 1899 and is listed Grade II in its own right. It was the lady Sunnycroft's pride and joy, standing immediately to the west of the house, visible and accessible from the Drawing Room french windows. Elegant and refined, its finely chamfered rafters have a special quality of lightness while a sophisticated system of slender tensioned cast iron rods take the strain of the structure. Inside are still the original fixed cast iron display shelves around the perimeter with decorative rockwork beneath for ferns.
The glass house was a key part of the additions and improvements that were made right at the end of the 19th century by the 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 cast iron ‘porch’ over the new front door in the turret was provided by Halliday, as were the iron and glazed-roof veranda across the whole of the south front overlooking the garden. Mrs Slaney also added the Drawing Room bay with french windows to be better able to view the conservatory.