Following a successful Round 1 National Heritage Lottery Fund bid, Pritchard Architecture was appointed in July 2018 to develop the Through the Glasshouse project through to completion, subject to a successful Round 2 bid. The project looks to convert the derelict Grade II listed glasshouse within the walled gardens of Stansted House into a visitor centre, exhibition space, shop and education space.

Stansted Park Foundation is a Charitable Trust set up in 1983 to preserve the Stansted Park Estate in perpetuity for the benefit of the nation. Stansted House is a Grade II* Listed Edwardian country house set on a 1,800 acre estate within the South Downs National Park. The site is located on the West Sussex/Hampshire border between Chichester and Portsmouth.

Stansted is a popular tourist attraction, local community amenity, and valuable educational resource with sustainably managed forests and park conservation programmes. The Park is a Grade II* Registered Park and Garden. Aside from the House there are a number of other listed buildings within the estate including a pair of former Victorian glasshouses (Grade II listed) and Stansted Chapel (Grade I listed).

In 2016 the SPF was gifted the archive collection of General Sir John Ponsonby. This fascinating archive brings alive the extraordinary lives of the wider Ponsonby family, including Sir Henry Ponsonby, private secretary to Queen Victoria, and his father Sir William Ponsonby, a hero of Waterloo.

Stansted’s walled garden includes two Grade II Listed former Victorian glasshouses, one of which has been restored and converted into the Pavilion Tearoom. The other glasshouse, to the east, is now in a serious state of dilapidation. This building is the focus of the Through the Glasshouse project which will see it appropriately restored, interpreted and brought back into use as a visitor centre for the whole of Stansted Park. The glasshouse will provide the primary point of welcome and orientation including an interpretation gallery, flexible learning space and associated storage. The new interpretation will put the heritage of Stansted at the core of the site and the visitor offer.

Project Details

  • Client: Stansted Park Foundation Trust

  • Designation: Grade II Listed Building

  • Status: Development Phase

  • Contract Value: £1.8m

  • Funder: National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • QS: Michael Edwards Consultants Limited

  • M&E Engineer: Chapman BDSP

  • Project Manager: Conservation Plus

Clare Dawe