Lantern Roofs and Orangeries

The origin of a true orangery in Europe can be traced back to the Padua orangery in Italy (1545) but a very basic form of growing and protecting plants in a structure was going on in Rome at the time of Emperor Tiberius where little translucent mica sheets were used to make structures to force and grow cucumbers.

The first known English orangery was built in Surrey around 1580 for Sir Francis Carew and yes, they were originally built to protect and provide winter heating for growing oranges. The Victorians and Edwardians,

Orangeries differ from conservatories because they tend to have less overall glass surface area, are normally taller at frame height than conservatories and are often more decorative and ornate.

A lantern roof sits on a flat surround or platform to form the roof area. Ellwood also make lanterns on their own to fit onto customer’s own flat roofs and often over kitchen areas or which are above room extensions for example. There is a fine dividing line as to what, in planning terms, constitutes the definition of a conservatory as opposed to an extension room (“orangery” ?) to the house. We have come across many local authorities who tend to look on orangeries in similar fashion to a conservatory requirement.

However, conservatories are usually exempt from building control but orangeries are subject to building control inspection.