Heritage project the repair and invigoration
of the Grade 11 listed Victorian Palm House Conservatory
Palace in the Park
Corporation Park is registered by English Heritage as a Park and Garden of Special Historic Interest.
The Conservatory is located by West Park Lodge off West Park Road.
It is a grade II listed building and was erected in 1900 in the Victorian era. It was a time of great exuberance, experimentation and exploration and an expanding British Empire brought new and exotic plants, ferns, fruits and vegetables. Large public glass houses allowed these exciting plants to be experienced by everyone and were particularly valued by the occupants of densely packed factory housing as was the case in Blackburn.
With the abolition of the glass tax in 1845 and window tax in 1851, the creation of magnificent glass and iron conservatories took off and Blackburn town officials saw their creation as a splendid symbol of achievement.
Our conservatory reflects this exuberance.
The building is all glass and iron, richly ornamented with arches, pierced spandrels and columns. There is a central rectangular portion which is gabled with a clock in the front pediment and it also has a central louvred chimney.
The mid section was designed to house exotic flora, with the wings being cooler to house displays of plants enjoying a similar climate to our own.
The Conservatory in 2012
Conservatory Repair & Invigoration
The project is the restoration of the Grade II listed Victorian Palm House in Corporation Park in Blackburn, to secure this landmark for future generations.
The project focuses on the repair and invigoration of Blackburnís public access, Grade II listed Victorian Palm House (The Conservatory), and the reinstatement of a vibrant and relevant planting scheme within the above structure.
All glazing will be removed and the structure dismantled for offsite repair and restored in accordance with
the original design. At re-assembly new glazing will be provided throughout. Internally new planting beds
will be planned to combine a botanical atmosphere with space suitable for events and education. A new
planting scheme will be designed, with aesthetic, educational, environmental and community considerations. Environmental controls will be updated to meet the requirements of the plants and occupants throughout the seasons.
In 2011 a conservatory restoration committee and a fund raising sub committee were put in place.
This team consists of :
Margaret Keighley Development Manager Green Spaces
Eddie Maxwell Corporation Park Manager
Jackie Whelan Conservation Officer
Emma Palmer Cambell Driver Architects
Brian Healey CPSG Chair
Helen Roscoe CPSG Chairman
Valerie Miles CPSG
Now in June 2012 the 49 page document for stage one of the application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A decision will be returned by 2013
Extensive research indicates that this is probably the only surviving large scale example of the fine ornamental ironwork of the firm of Lockerbie and Wilkinson of Birmingham.
The only other smaller scale iron work by Lockerbie and Wilkinson still in existence can be found in Cleethorps, Lincolnshire at the mermaid cafe and former railway clock tower.
The conservatory over the years