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What is an orangery?

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One of the most common questions we’re asked about conservatories is – what is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery? And what exactly is an orangery? Here’s our handy guide that will help you choose which style of extension is best for your home.

lantern roof orangery

The history of orangeries

Traditionally, orangeries were grand, stately buildings used to grow orange trees and other sun-loving fruits, in large period homes in the 19th century. The brick pillars sheltered the exotic fruit trees, but large expanses of glass ensured the sun’s warmth cultivated the plants. Over time, orangeries evolved to become an extension of living space within the home as opposed to an elaborate greenhouse.

Conservatory V orangery

Conservatories and orangeries used to differentiate themselves from one another with clarity, however, these days the differences between a conservatory and an orangery are far less apparent. This is making the research and buying process harder for homeowners.

Take a look at this table where we’ve highlighted the differences between orangeries and conservatories:

Orangery Conservatory
Flat solid roof with a central glass lantern made up of less than 75% glass Pitched glazed roof more that is more than 75% glass
Large tall windows that make up less than 50% glass in the wall Glazed walls that are usually more than 50% glass
Can be standalone or built against the side of a house with a door into the house Built against the wall of the main house, separated by a door
Brick built corner pillars and/or walls Fully glazed frame
Square or rectangle shape Can be rectangle, P or T shaped
Built to echo the style of the house A glazed structure that doesn’t have to look like the rest of the house

Should I have a conservatory or an orangery?


If you are unsure whether you should choose an orangery or a conservatory, here are a few points to consider:

    • The roof lantern and solid materials used in an orangery can sometimes provide better insulation than a conservatory that is primarily glazed. That being said, modern advancements in technology mean that glazed conservatories can achieve incredibly low U-values, meaning you won’t have to rely on your heating in the winter, and you’ll keep cool in the summer.
    • As they are closer to a traditional extension than conservatories are, orangeries generally add more value to your house than a conservatory.
    • Due to the difference in the amount of glazing, conservatories have the ability to let in more natural light than orangeries. This also means that they provide a better view of the garden.
    • Orangeries tend to be more expensive than a conservatory, however, they have a greater return on investment, and they blend more seamlessly with the style of your home, looing more like an extension than a conservatory.
    • Orangeries are far more grandiose and visually extravagant, creating a real focal point in your home and garden, whereas conservatories tend to be more modest and classically understated.
    • Conservatories come in a variety of shapes and styles such as Edwardian, Gable, P-shape, T-shape, Victorian, and lean-to, whereas orangeries come in either a square or rectangular shape.

Large Orangery

Increase the value of your home with an orangery or conservatory from Turkington

Since our establishment in 1951, Turkington Windows has built a reputation as a leading home improvement installer, supplying homes across Northern Ireland. If you would like to talk to us about a new orangery or conservatory, you can get in touch here or get your free, no-obligation quote. Alternatively, you can visit us at your nearest Turkington showroom.

Related posts:

Does a conservatory add value to a property?

Which is best? A conservatory, sunroom, or Garden Room?

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With showrooms in Lisburn & Portadown we are ideally placed to supply and install windows, doors and conservatories all across Belfast and Northern Ireland, as well as the greater Dublin area and counties Monaghan, Meath and Louth.

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