Save our precious historic garden buildings

Time and weather are no friend to our precious Victorian glasshouses and Orangery. Both contribute to timber decay and eventually this puts the structures in danger. Right now, the Orangery is at risk of closure due to dangerous deterioration to the glass roof. Can you help save it before we have to close it to students?

Donate now

Your gift will help save our glasshouses and Orangery.

Save the Orangery

Time and the elements have taken their toll on the glazed roof of the Orangery and it is in desperate need of restoration. Many panes of glass have slipped or been damaged and without this work we will have to stop using it for art classes and close a vital teaching space.

With your help we can restore the roof to its former glory.

We want to commission Foster and Pearson to restore the glass roof they originally installed in the 1890s so that the Orangery continues to be a source of inspiration for you, our visitors and students. We have raised almost half the cost of these urgent works, please help secure the rest by making a gift today.

Click here to read the full appeal.

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. 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.

With your help we can raise enough money to bring all our glasshouses back to their former glory and preserve them for another century. Click here to read more about the fascinating history of our glasshouses.

We have been overwhelmed by the support received to help save our glasshouses, the project is progressing very well, huge thanks go to all our donors. Click here for an update on where we are today.

Donate now

Help restore our glasshouses - 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

The complete set of Victorian glasshouses in the Walled Garden.

The story so far

In 1991 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. Throughout 2016 our specialist works and maintenance team spent tireless months, weeks, days and hours in all temperatures to restore two major glasshouses.

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