Victorian Glasshouses

West Dean Gardens has an impressive collection of thirteen working Victorian glasshouses built by Foster and Pearson. There is always colour on display from the large collection of plants including exotic plants, orchids, strawberry plants, figs, nectarines, peaches, gourds, grapes and melons.

Urgent Glasshouse Appeal: For further information or to donate click here.

The splendid glasshouses were all built between 1890 and 1900 and were completely derelict before their restoration in the early 1990s. They are magnificent examples of Victorian craft and ingenuity.

They are repainted on a four year cycle; the exteriors over summer, when the weather is kinder, and the interiors over winter, when the glasshouses can be emptied. In addition, they are hand scrubbed from top to bottom, inside and out, each winter, a process that takes two gardeners two months to complete.

Despite this, the glasshouses are beginning to show their age and we are undertaking a programme of refurbishment / restoration to ensure they will be working for many years in the future. To find out how you can help click here.

The glasshouses are heated by a woodchip burning boiler which also heats the College and associated buildings using woodchips produced from West Dean Estate's commercial forestry.

Support West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.