Once establishing large conservatories in larger areas to display exotic plants, John Nash designed 4 for Buckingham Palace, later being remodelled for Prince William IV. One of these conservatories has now been called The Architectural Conservatory, after the original designer, and is situated within Kew Gardens, still standing today.
In England, before 1845, there was a tax on glass based on its weight. Therefore, conservatories up to this point were made with very thin panes, later causing issues for conservatory owners.
A famous architect, Sir Joseph Paxton, built a conservatory at Chatsworth House, made with an iron frame, between 1836 and 1841. The room covered three-quarters of an acre and at the time was the largest building in the world. It roughly cost £30,000 to build and needed 8 boilers running heat through 7 miles of iron pipe.
Within the mid-19th century, wrought iron was expensive, leading to mass production in the cheaper product, cast iron. It benefitted a lot of people by being cheaper however the material has weaker tension and not so suitable for the heavy structures. Luckily, a man called Henry Bessemer invented the Bessemer converter, making steel cheaper than before. It took away the issues cast iron was causing and had a higher carbon content. The roofing mostly being made from polycarbonate or glass roofing which we still find today.
Conservatories started appearing within English Literature more often, for example, Oscar Wilde’s novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, the popular book had a positive effect and input for the growth of conservatories within the 1890s. It started becoming the Golden Age for the industry with a wide variety of styles and types, people grew and interest in technologies and gardening, therefore, grew interest in conservatories. They were used both privately and publicly for garden parties and flower shows.