Millichope Estate - Glasshouse Restoration project

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July 2017 - update

Following completion of a major restoration project to Millichope’s large range of iron framed curvilinear glasshouses they have been restored to their former glory and now stand as a magnificent centrepiece to the Walled Garden.

The Walled Garden and glasshouses are open to the public every Friday – Sunday 11am-4pm through to the 15th October.

Further details can be found at www.wildegoosenursery.co.uk/glasshouse

 

7 July 2015 - progress update 

Work on restoring the glasshouses started on 6th July with scheduled completion at the end of January 2016. The works are being undertaken by I J Preece & Son Ltd.

Post completion of the contract there will be some internal finishing works to be undertaken by the in-house building team.

The glasshouses and the walled garden will be open to the public from May 2016.

We will aim to keep you updated as work progresses but anyone interested in viewing the work progressing will have the opportunity to do so at the Millichope Estate open days on 20 September and 11 October.

30 January 2015 - progress update

Despite the worst efforts of the weather, there has been terrific response to the Wednesday volunteering days at the Millichope Walled Garden but would still be happy to welcome any new volunteers.

However, the first Open Days, when the grounds of Millichope Park and the Walled Garden will be open to the public are rapidly approaching and we would be keen to hear from anyone who would like to act as a host and guide for visitors to the Walled Garden, to assist in making the experience as informative as possible for visitors.

The gardens will be open on Sunday 15th and Sunday 22nd February (2-5pm) for the Snowdrop Open Day and the route for this will take visitors through the Walled Garden.

If you are able to assist on either day please contact Graeme on 01270 811294

I have been asked to provide further details of what the host / guide role entails and what help will be provided.

Essentially, it will be a meet and greet role. Engaging with visitors and providing them with information on the history / planned restoration of the glasshouses and the regeneration of the walled garden. Also encouraging them to join the glasshouse archaeology volunteering programme and to sign-up to receive the quarterly newsletter to keep informed on progress with the project.

Volunteers will be provided with scripts, fact sheets, plans of how the walled garden will be laid out, etc. and given a walk-through of the site prior to the open days.

If it sounds like something you would be interested in or have any further questions please contact me.

Graeme

Here is a picture of some of our volunteers hard at work!

Millichope Working Party

A very rare 19th century curved glasshouse will once again be able to cultivate rare & exotic plants, and will be open to the public for the first time in many years, thanks to a grant of almost £66,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The curvilinear glasshouse in the walled garden of Millichope Park became derelict over half a century ago. Dating from around 1836 it is one of very few surviving iron-framed curved glasshouses from an era when most glasshouses were still constructed using straight wooden frames. In its day it would have been in the forefront of both industrial and horticultural technology.

The three-bay south-facing structure is in the form of a lean-to against a brick wall. It is part of the privately-owned Grade II* listed Millichope Park. HLF has only recently allowed private owners, including commercial businesses, to apply directly for Lottery Funding so as to encourage the custodians of heritage that is in private hands in their efforts to conserve it and open it up to the public.

The walled garden adjacent to the glasshouse is now once more in use as a heritage viola nursery and, once the glasshouse is restored, visitors will be able to discover more about the history of cultivation during the Victorian era. As the restoration gets underway a community archaeology project will excavate a melon and cucumber pit on the site.

The glasshouse is believed to be one of only four in the country of this design to survive. It was last in use during the 1950s when Millichope Park was used as a school. Prior to that the estate had been used as a monastery.

The restoration project will recruit volunteers from the local community to research the history of iron-framed glasshouses and their horticultural usage. In future, visitors will be able to learn both new and old horticultural skills during practical courses and lectures held in the re-built glasshouse.

Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: "We want to encourage real public access to heritage that is in private hands. The Millichope Park glasshouse is an important part of Shropshire's and indeed England's horticultural history and our grant will mean that visitors will now be able to enjoy it for the first time in years and it will also be brought back into productive use."

For Millichope Park, owner Frank Bury said: "The HLF grant together with a grant from Country House Foundation provides the impetus for us to restore these marvels of nineteenth century technology. We hope they will be the centrepiece for visitors to come to Millichope and experience a bit of social and industrial history in a beautiful rural setting."

Further information:
For further information please contact Graeme Willgoss, Project Co-ordinator, on: 07903 093131

Millichope Glasshouses c1950

Millichope Glasshouses 1950

Millichope Glasshouses 2014

Millichope Glasshouses 2014

VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME

We need your help with:

Under the stewardship of our Archaeologist, Jeremy Milln, we need volunteers to help complete the following activities before the main restoration works commence:

 

  1. Excavate to define buried beds, paths, steps and other features within the Vinehouse,
     
  2. Excavation of the melon and cucumber pit houses,

 

  1. Survey and prepare sets of detailed measured drawings of the structures and findings,

 

  1. Organise the 'finds', including all recoverable detached parts of the structure.  These will need labelling, logging and storing,

 

  1. Cleaning 'finds' including the large quantity of precious and tiny hand-made panes of original glass,

 

  1. Excavation of the back shed range to enhance understanding of the 'hot wall' system

 

Starting from the 14th January we will be working every Wednesday between the hours of 10.00am to 4.00pm, through to the 8th April 2015. The weekly programme of activities is listed below, but we will try to be flexible so that there will be work to suit all interests and abilities.

 

Date (all Wednesdays)

Scheduled Activity

14th January

1, 2

21st January

1, 2  - CANCELLED DUE TO POOR WEATHER

28th January

1, 2

4th February

1, 3, 4

11th February

1, 3, 4

18th February

1, 3, 4

25th February

1, 3, 4, 5

4th March

1, 3, 5

11th March

3, 5 ,6

18th March

5, 6

25th March

No work planned as Jeremy unavailable

1st April

5, 6

8th April

5, 6

What to wear & bring

Please come suitably dressed for working outdoors in most weathers as we will be working unless it is extremely wet or icy.

We will provide you with appropriate tools to undertake the planned activities but if you have any favourite gardening tools that you would prefer to use feel free to bring these along. For the excavation we will be using spades, trowels, brushes and buckets, but not garden forks or rakes.

Please remember to bring good strong gloves as there is quite a bit of broken glass on the ground in the areas where we will be working.

Walled Garden Guides

2015 will see an increased number of Open Days, when the grounds of Millichope Park and the Walled Garden will be open to the public. To assist us in making the experience as informative as possible for visitors we are seeking volunteers to act as hosts and guides for visitors to the Walled Garden.

We need a minimum of 2 volunteers on each of the Open Days listed below:

Sunday 15th and Sunday 22nd February (2-5pm)

Sunday 3rd May (2-6pm)

Sunday 28th June (2-6pm)

Sunday 20th September (2-6pm)

Sunday 11th October (2-5pm)

How you can get involved

If you want to volunteer for any of the above activities please contact Graeme Willgoss on 01270 811294 or g.willlgoss56@btinternet.com.