The orangery at Blenheim Palace is having its glass ceiling removed as part of a £2 million project to combat climate change.
The glass is to be replaced by a timber and slate structure believed to be in keeping with the original design, which was destroyed by a fire in 1861.
“The 19th-century glass roof has come to the end of its life, and it is time to make a serious change,” said Kelly Whitton, head of built heritage at Blenheim. “Slate combined with modern insulation will be a far more effective insulator than glass, saving energy and helping Blenheim reach green goals.”
The Oxfordshire house is one of Britain’s most popular heritage destinations and had more than 800,000 visitors last year. This line of income is fully funding the project.
Blenheim was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in the early 18th century. It was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, served as M15’s base during the Second World War and remains home to the dukes of Marlborough. It seeks to be carbon neutral by 2027 and to remove 230,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050.
It is thought that the project at Blenheim is the first reinstatement programme of its kind to be carried out on a Grade I listed building.
“Thoughtful projects such as this demonstrate how conservation can be used to respond to the impacts of climate change, forming positive and proactive solutions,” said Morwenna Slade, head of climate change adaptation at Historic England.
Source: The Times
Autor: Jack Blackburn, History Correspondent