We understand that The Italianate Glasshouse was erected in the grounds of East Cliff Lodge, Sir Moses Montefiore 22 acre estate in 1832. Sir Moses, a British financier and former Sheriff of London bought the magnificent structure from another impressive house, Bretton Hall in Yorkshire after seeing it in an auction catalogue.
The grounds of the house, now known as King George VI Memorial Park, were eventually taken over by Ramsgate Borough Council and the house was demolished in 1953. The only remaining buildings are the Glasshouse, adjoining converted stable block, former servants quarters, the Coach House and Gate House.
The Glasshouse has withstood the test of time. Despite being derelict and suffering vandalism in years gone by it is now been back to its former glory after being lovingly restored in 2005.
Our involvement with the Glasshouse began when we purchased the former derelict adjacent stable blocks site in 2001. Sadly neglected in recent years the Glasshouse renovation was part of the project to restore the buildings. With the help of Thanet District Council and English Heritage, the restoration was completed in 2005. Since then, we have carefully tended to the existing agaves and vines as well as introducing a variety of plants and shrubs to the Glasshouse and gardens.
Phil tends to the now established grounds and you will often see him at toiling away at weekends. During the summer months, the a Glasshouse is now open for all to enjoy.
2015 was an incredibly eventful year. We embarked on a new venture, the Italianate Glasshouse Tea Garden. Open on fine days during the summer months, our visitors are able to relax and sample a delicious cream tea whilst enjoying the tranquil and peaceful surroundings. To coincide with the opening of our Tea Garden, one of our 80 year old American Agave growing inside the Glasshouse decided to bloom and has grown over 30ft in 3 months!
Eventually last summer (2016) the Agave came to the end of its long life and we had to chop it down. A tricky task, it was captured on camera by ITV's Neighbourhood Nightmares which was aired in September 2016.
More Growth! Our second Agave has now started to bloom. It is approximately 6ft outside of the glass and continues to grow......