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Guernsey's oldest greenhouse at Candie looks close to partial collapse

A new tender is inviting local companies to bid to restore the greenhouses in Candie Gardens as the lower one looks to have fallen into an even more precarious condition.

The States say old maps date the two structures to the late 1780s, potentially making them the oldest in western Europe.

Both are listed buildings.

It's been around 15 months since the lower greenhouse began collapsing. A photo taken by Island FM in early March 2023 shows the middle two beams on the western end fallen. Compare that to the main picture, which shows the gable end has now also fallen away.

Four of the ten struts supporting the glass on the western side of the lower greenhouse have collapsed or are semi collapsed.

A tender for local companies to repair the structure closed in October 2023 without any interest.

As a result, Jim Robinson, the States' director of Natural Environment, says they've put together a more detailed brief:

“Despite last year’s setback of receiving no tenders for the work to repair the glasshouses, we are determined to find a solution to restore these historic structures.

To understand why the tender was unsuccessful, we spoke to potential contractors, who requested that more detail be provided about the structures and how they can be sensitively restored to maintain their historic integrity as much as possible.

Whilst we gathered this information, we asked the Planning Service to hold off on making a decision on the application as this additional information was also useful from a planning perspective."

The current tender closes today, 2 April 2024.

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