Planning permission has been granted to restore the derelict 18th century Orangery in the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall so it can be enjoyed by the public once again.
The Orangery was salvaged in 1954 from Brixworth Hall by former Kelmarsh Hall owner Colonel CG Lancaster, just before Brixworth Hall was demolished. In its original location, the Orangery was listed on English Heritage’s National Monuments Record in 1945 and it is now the only publicly accessible remnant from Brixworth Hall.
Restoration work is due to start later this month and will include the re-pointing and re-setting of the soft white Kingsthorpe stone, conservation work to the existing windows and the use of traditional building techniques and materials such as limecrete flooring finished with flagstones. There will also be external landscaping plus the installation of outdoor lighting so the Orangery can be used in the evening.
The work is due to last around eight weeks, costing approximately £130,000. Fundraising has been ongoing since the project was launched last year and most recently, a Christmas raffle helped to raise almost £600 thanks to the donation of prizes by local companies including Joules, Next, Shires Cookery School, Haddonstone, Kettering Park Hotel and Concept 6.
The Orangery will offer a community space for local groups and organisations. Kelmarsh Hall has been working closely with Northamptonshire County Council’s adult learning department, with hopes that the Orangery could be used as a venue for courses such as flower-arranging, creative writing, art classes and garden design. It will be offered to the local community for exercise classes and social events, and Brixworth History Society, Northamptonshire Gardens Trust and local WI groups will also have the opportunity to use the building. In addition, it will be available for private hire for special occasions and small weddings.
Kelmarsh’s fundraiser Carla Cooper said: “We’re delighted to have received planning permission to restore this unique building and bring it back to life. The Orangery could be a very special venue for local groups and organisations who are looking for somewhere a little bit different. It will mark another chapter in the history of a building which was painstakingly relocated from Brixworth Hall 60 years ago.
“We’d like to thank members of the public who have made donations to our appeal in the last year and all those who supported our Christmas raffle, including the numerous local businesses who donated some fantastic prizes. We’ve had great support from the local community.”
Kelmarsh Hall would like to say a big thank you to the following companies for their donations to the raffle:
• Shire Cookery School, East Haddon
• English Heritage
• Concept 6
• Countryman Fairs
• Kettering Park Hotel
• Viva Vino
• Maureen Smith
• Home and Garden Furniture
Thank you also to the exhibitors at our Christmas Fair who made donations to the tombola.