Token used to Enter the Gardens in 1836

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The Glass Pavilions (Grade II* listed) (Area C)

These pavilions were an original feature of the Gardens when it opened in 1836. The local architect was Benjamin Broomhead Taylor, who worked closely with Robert Marnock (the first curator), Joseph Paxton (gardener to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth) and John Claudius Loudon (a leading landscape gardener of the day) on the project. As today, the three domes were linked by ridge-and-furrow glasshouses.

During the 1850s, additional ridge-and-furrow glasshouses were added at each end of the range, the western end housed a 30-foot diameter pool for the Victoria regia lily (now known as V. amazonica) and a collection of tender camellias occupied the eastern one. The conservatories were in such a state of dereliction, when the Town Trust took over the Gardens in 1898, that all the ridge-and-furrow houses had to be demolished soon afterwards, leaving only the three domes, which were repaired.

A colonnade was constructed between the central and eastern domes in 1937. The Central Dome was converted into an aviary in 1961 and an aquarium was built inside the eastern dome in 1963. Funding cuts led to a decline in the level of maintenance and the resulting dereliction caused the pavilions to be boarded up in the mid 1990s.

The Glass Pavilions, Grade II* listed, have now been lovingly restored to their original beauty. The linking ridge-and-furrow walkways have been re-built using stainless steel framing. Most of the environmental factors in the resulting 90m conservatory are computer-monitored and controlled, with heating provided by four gas-fired boilers. Because of their diverse moisture requirements, however, the plant collections are watered by hand using rainwater collected from the roofs and stored in huge underground tanks in front of the Pavilions.

The pavilions are available for wedding ceremonies:
Please contact the Ceremonies Co-ordinator for further information and booking enquiries - Telephone Alison Matthews: 0114 205 3500

Click Here for more information on Ceremonies in Parks and Green Spaces.

Click Here for details of the planting inside the pavilions.

Click here for Photographs showing the restoration of The Glass Pavilions.

The Glass Pavilions April 2005 © Meg Jullien, 2005

The Glass Pavilions before restoration

The Glass Pavilions April 2005 © Meg Jullien, 2005

The Glass Pavilions April 2005


Restoration Partnership: Sheffield Town Trust |  Sheffield City Council |  University of Sheffield  
Friends of the Botanical Gardens |  Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust  

Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LN. Tel: +44 (0)114 268 6001
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This page updated on 16 April 2015. This site updated on 19 November 2012.