Ripley Castle near Harrogate wins Historic England funding to restore orangery and fire engine house in its pleasure grounds

Family-owned Ripley Castle has been handed a £343,000 grant from Historic England to revitalise its gardens for visitors.

Ripley Castle

Several Georgian buildings including an orangery, pavilions, potting sheds and a house where the estate's own fire engine was once kept will be repaired using the funding.

The Ingilby baronets have owned Ripley for centuries and the family's ancestor Sir John Ingilby commissioned the garden buildings in 1785. In the early 19th century, a glass roof was added to the orangery to convert it into a palm house, in keeping with the fashion among the gentry to grow tropical plants and fruit.

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The structures are all listed at Grade II, but have made their way onto Historic England's Heritage At Risk register in recent years due to their poor condition.

The orangery/palm house will be restored

The Ingilbys plan to use the restored buildings for educational visits and during events such as open air theatre performances.

The current baronet, Sir Thomas Ingilby, said: "The restoration of these buildings will be a big step forward in the ambitious programme to restore the walled gardens at Ripley Castle to their former glory. We are enormously grateful to Historic England for their help and support for this project, which will, when completed, help a lot of people to overcome the financial and mental trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic."

Historic England's Giles Proctor added: “These handsome historic garden buildings form the centrepiece of Ripley Castle’s beautiful grounds. Their restoration will improve the experience of the tens of thousands of people who visit every year, as well as provide educational and leisure opportunities.”

The Ingilby - formerly known as Ingleby - family and their estate have a colourful history which includes involvement in the Gunpowder Plot and the English Civil War. Sir Thomas inherited the baronetcy from his father Sir Josian in 1974, and his own heir is James, the eldest of his five children.