Restoration of Camellia House

Restoration work has begun at the Camellia House in the grounds of Bretton Hall in Wakefield, opening a new chapter for the listed building.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:16 am

Originally built for the cultivation of exotic plants, the Camellia House is one of the largest listed garden structures within the historic Bretton Estate, now home to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The house is being restored along with the wider transformation of Bretton Hall estate in to a hotel by Yorkshire-based property investor Rushbond PLC, and Artfarm as operator-partner.

Built in 1812, the Camellia House was designed by architect Jeffry Wyatt, known for his work on Chatsworth House and Windsor Castle. Its roof was replaced in 1871, then later by a glazed roof. The structure still houses camellias that will be protected as work ensues.

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The restoration designs are led by Seven Architecture, specialists in heritage buildings, with construction by HH Smith and Sons, currently working on Leeds’ First White Cloth Hall.

Mark Finch, director of Rushbond, said: “The renovation of the Camellia House is a key chapter in the unfolding story of Bretton Hall. The work plays a vital part of our wider plans to transform Bretton Hall and its estate as a cultural destination that complements the amazing Yorkshire Sculpture Park and helps promote Wakefield as a creative and cultural hub.”

Lisa McFarlane, conservation architect at Seven Architecture, added: “The Camellia House is close to the hearts of visitors who come to admire the beautiful collection of camellias, as well as the magnificent sculptures displayed alongside them over the years. The restoration of the Camellia House marks an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the estate to ensure its long-term protection for the enjoyment of visitors from all over the world.”