The Orangery, Clapham

This was a surprise. You really don’t expect to come across a huge Georgian relic in a post-war south London housing estate.

But in the middle of the Notre Dame estate in Clapham is this – the portico to an Orangery (or greenhouse) “formerly part of a miniature landscape estate with a lake belonging to the Thornton family” built in 1793. (More about other members of the Thornton family in my earlier post about Battersea Rise.)

London Gardens Online describes it thus: “The façade is a simple classical design with columns of Portland stone and Ionic capitals in Coade stone. The pediment is decorated with swags of roses, fir cones and leaves and in the entablature is carved a quotation from Virgil [HIC VER ASSIDUUM ATQUE ALIENIS MENSIBUS AESTAS], which translates roughly as ‘Here is perpetual spring and summer even in other months’. There were glazed sashes between the columns, and the inside was plainly plastered.

One Response

  1. Edward says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for the research – I came across this structure while out on a Bleeding London foray this evening and was a bit gobsmacked to find in a children’s playground in the middle of a housing estate.

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