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Whilst it was said the Ancient Romans had conservatories, they were truly first established within the 16th century, when wealthy landowners were eager to grow tropical fruits in their gardens. These fruits would normally be grown in hotter climates such as the Mediterranean, therefore, perceived a luxury to have. Where the Italians would use conservatories, known as ‘Limonaia’s’ to protect their potted plants for the duration of winter, northern Europe created Orangeries. Both buildings were traditionally made from either wood or brick with tall windows, usually facing the south in order to maximise sun exposure.
Slightly after this period in 1621, Oxford’s Botanic Garden was founded and labelled as the first notable conservatory. People were able to rent it out the room our for parties and gatherings.
Click on the photo to find more information about Oxford Botanic Gardens.