The Winter Gardens, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (Grade II*-listed, 1878-81, John Watson and William Harvey)
On Great Yarmouth’s seafront stands the mighty glass and iron structure that is the Winter Gardens. It’s incredible to believe that this Grade II*-listed glasshouse was originally designed and constructed in Torquay and then relocated by barge all the way to its current position in 1904, reportedly without a single pane of glass breaking. Construction cost £12,783 and used ironwork by Jesse Tildesley of the Crescent Iron Works, Willenhall in Staffordshire, and the striking pyramidal roof stands at a dizzying 83ft height above the west end.
Over the years it has had many uses including as a ballroom, roller-skating rink and even a German beer garden, but now it is empty and without a use. Great Yarmouth Borough Council is currently actively looking for an investor to bring this unique, nationally-important building back into use and operate it into the future. It is a purpose-built Winter Gardens, making its originally intended botanic use fairly attractive, although the council is open to discuss other suitable end uses with potential investors.
Cllr Graham Plant and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the council’s political group leaders, said: “The council is continuing positive discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has recognised the Winter Gardens as an iconic building at risk and indicated that funds for repair would be available with a suitable future operator on board.
“The Winter Gardens represents an exciting and rare opportunity to get involved in breathing new life into a rare-surviving historic icon of the British seaside, and we would love to hear from representatives of any organisations interested in visiting and investing in the building and discussing the possibilities.”
Organisations interested in visiting and investing are asked to contact Stacy Cosham on 01493 846153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.