Weston Park Orangery Commended in HHA/Sotheby’s Restoration Award 2014

The restoration of the Victorian Orangery at Weston Park has been commended for the HHA/Sotheby’s Restoration Award which recognises and celebrates the restoration work that is continually undertaken by members of the Historic Houses Association throughout the UK.

The restoration of Weston’s Orangery roof was a major project undertaken by the trustees of the Weston Park Foundation, the independent charitable trust that owns and maintains the estate situated on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border.

Architectural practice Purcell oversaw the conservation of the Grade II listed Orangery which has been carefully restored and the building’s thermal performance upgraded to ensure its sustainable and continued use.


The Orangery roof was prefabricated from metalwork on top of a sandstone structure. When it was constructed in the middle of the 19th century, the building was state of the art. However its innovative design meant there were challenges in improving the bearing of its rafters to accept the new glazing. The glazing in the roof was improved to building regulations’ standards, while the efficiency of the critical windows and doors was improved substantially. The complex composite roof and gutter system made standard lead detailing impossible and creative solutions had to be found to improve existing details to allow the lead work to be renewed, installing new insulation wherever possible. The building’s stonework and metalwork was also repaired.


Excluding site setup time, the project was completed within a tight programme of seven weeks on site. This was made possible by the early appointment of contractor, Fairhurst Ward Abbots, and the early procurement of the glass from Europe.

Senior Architect James Mackintosh from Purcell said: “Prior to the restoration, little was known about the Orangery at Weston Park. Initial research uncovered the original architect’s drawings dating from 1867, and a modern package of drawings by local architects Arrol and Snell in 1990. This gave us a good understanding of the construction of the building and raised a number of questions regarding how much of the fabric was original.”

“Our approach for the repairs was to accept the historical changes and make appropriate contemporary alterations to complement the elegance of the structure. We upgraded the Orangery with slim modern sections to accommodate the double glazed panels; this has a minimal effect on the sightlines.”

Colin Sweeney, Chief Executive of the Weston Park Foundation comments: “We were delighted to have been commended by the HHA for this year’s restoration award. It was a challenging project, undertaken in a short time frame but our aim was to restore the room to its original glory and were very happy with the results.