Save our precious glasshouses

Time and weather are no friend to our precious Victorian glasshouses. The timbers in Glasshouse 24 & 25 have decayed and the structures are in danger.

A message from Alex Barron, our Chief Executive

I know that West Dean Gardens are close to your heart and that like me, you treasure your visits to the walled garden and their magnificent glasshouses. Glasshouse 24 & 25, the Fig House, Nectarine and Late Vinery glasshouses in the fruit garden, need complete renovation. It will cost £41,000 to completely restore each one and we've already raised £21,000. Can you help us raise the rest?

Your gift will make a huge difference. It provides a garden classroom for our trainee horticulturists. A nursery to almost every plant that makes its way into the gardens. Somewhere for you, your children and grandchildren to learn more about growing and looking after plants. A precious piece of heritage that you have helped preserve.

Thank you.

Help us restore glasshouse 25

Donate now and help restore glasshouse 24 & 25 and acknowledge 25 years of glorious gardening. Donate online or text MEND25 and the donation amount to 70070

25 years of glorious gardening

This year we celebrate 25 years since our truly dedicated Head Gardeners, husband and wife Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, and their team began to transform the 19th Century West Dean landscape to create these gardens that we all appreciate so much. It has been a lifetime's work.

Jim and Sarah continue to create an abundance of horticultural delights within these glasshouses. But they need your help to ensure the glasshouses can continue to withstand the effects of time and weather.

Preserving our horticultural heritage

Our amazing glasshouses, built during the 1890s by Foster and Pearson, were at the forefront of Victorian technology. They continue to nurture flowers, fruit and vegetables as they have done for 120 years - but now they need your help to survive for another 25 years and beyond. The quality of the materials, craftsmanship and the attention to detail (right down to the easy-to-open brass latches designed for hands laden with gardening tools) help to explain why they have survived to this day. It's incredibly rare to have this range of original Victorian glasshouses in operation and as such they are a vital part of our local heritage.

The Fig House, Nectarine and Late Vinery glasshouse are now in need of urgent repair. We need to restore them this summer. With your help we can raise enough money to bring it back to its former glory and preserve it for another century. Click here to read more about the fascinating history of our glasshouses.

Donate now

Help restore glasshouse 24 & 25 and acknowledge 25 years of glorious gardening. Donate online or text MEND25 and the donation amount to 70070

"Restoration of the Victorian Glasshouses is not simply about aesthetics and keeping up appearances, they are tools essential for the long term health and development of the Gardens. Please help in any way you can."

Toby Buckland, Gardener and TV presenter

Map of the Glasshouses

Hand drawn map showing the layout of the glasshouses in the Walled Garden.

The story so far

25 years ago, our truly dedicated Head Gardeners, husband and wife team, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain and their team of gardeners, embarked on an amazing journey to rebuild West Dean Gardens. It's been a lifetime's work.

After the Great Storm of 1987, one of their first jobs was to restore the complete set of original Victorian glasshouses to full working order. It's incredibly rare to have this range of glasshouses in operation. But their survival depends on constant support in the fight against the elements.

We launched our first fundraising appeal in 2014 to begin a refurbishment programme of all our glasshouses. We are indebted to those who have already contributed to this appeal and enabled us to restore the Tropical and Temperate and the Display houses in the Walled Garden. In the Spring of 2016 we launched an appeal to restore Glasshouse 24 & 25 - the Fig House, Nectarine and Late Vinery in the orchard.

We have been delighted by the generosity of our wonderful supporters in helping to restore these amazing Victorian glasshouses. Our specialist works and maintenance team have spent tireless months, weeks, days and hours in all temperatures to restore two major glasshouses this year.

Read the full story here.

Help preserve our future

West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

Find out how you can help support us