Victorian glasshouses

D is for door handles

“The glass houses at West Dean are an inspirational model of how best to use any greenhouse. They are a treasure for all gardeners.” Monty Don

The 13 Victorian glasshouses and four cold frames at West Dean Gardens are part of our horticultural heritage and they are some of the few remaining in active use in the UK.

 West Dean Walled Garden_people

The majority of the 13 glasshouses and four sets of frames were erected between 1891 and 1905 by Foster & Pearson Limited and demonstrate the variety of types and styles in use at that time, from three-quarter span houses, to a cucumber and melon house, and pineapple pits.

West Dean Gardens door latches (1) West Dean Gardens door latches (2)

The door handles of the glasshouses were designed to allow easy opening for gardens with their hands full of tools or other gardening paraphernalia. The simple latch system means it only requires a little finger to flip it open. Pretty neat, huh?

   West Dean Gardens door latches Foster & Pearson (2) West Dean Gardens door latches Foster & Pearson (1)

West Dean Garden’s collection includes a Foster & Pearson Limited (Est. 1841) catalogue from the period which illustrates the ‘Improved brass Latch’.

West Dean Gardens Foster & Pearson brochure Foster & Pearson West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens are open to the public 1 February to 21 December 2015.

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Maintaining the glasshouses is an ongoing project but two glasshouses are in urgent need of repair. For more on the Victorian Glasshouse Appeal visit www.westdean.org.uk/donate.

West Dean Gardens are part of The Edward James Foundation. Charity No. 6689362

One thought on “D is for door handles

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