What is the Difference Between an Orangery and a Conservatory?

When somebody says the word conservatory, we all know what that is in an instant. Although conservatories and orangeries have many similarities, the word orangery often leaves people perplexed.

To help them decide which is more suited to their needs, customers often ask speculative questions about a traditional orangery or conservatory. Some frequent questions are, “What is an orangery?” “When would you use an orangery?” and the main one, “What is the difference between an orangery and conservatory?”.

What is an Orangery? 

Orangeries originated from the 17th century when they were created for the wealthy as a means to protect their orange trees and citrus trees during the winter climates. Orangeries were present on the estates of the wealthy and became somewhat fashionable amongst the ‘elite’. 

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and they have a slightly different purpose. Orangeries are now used under the same circumstances as a conservatory. They are deemed an extension of your home and increase the amount of liveable space in your property. Due to the amount of brickwork involved, an orangery tends to flow better with the design of your existing build. 

What is the Difference Between Orangeries and Conservatories?

While being mostly similar in aesthetics, purpose and construction, some specific differences set the two apart.

Design and Construction

The most significant difference between an orangery and conservatory is their design and construction. Both are built on concrete foundations, but a conservatory will typically by floor-to-roof glass panels and a pitched roof. On the other hand, orangeries have a predominantly brick base and thus blending in with your existing home a lot better despite being more significant in size than a conservatory. 

Another differing design element of a conservatory and an orangery is the method of entry. Typically, a conservatory will feature typical patio doors, and an orangery commonly has much grander bi-folding doors.

A conservatory roof provides more natural lighting than an orangery roof. A conservatory roof has minimalist framing and large glass panels. An orangery roof has more significant framing but enables the installation of artificial light fixtures, making an orangery more ideal for evening use.


As previously mentioned, both conservatories and orangeries are built on a solid concrete base. Conservatories are mainly constructed using uPVC and aluminium, and orangeries are mainly built using timber and brick.


It is hard to pinpoint the cost of a conservatory or an orangery as every project is different. Both come in all shapes and sizes with prices starting from an average of £10,000 upwards. 

If you were comparing a conservatory and orangery of equal size, the orangery would typically be more expensive due to the materials and extra labour. However, if you have a budget in mind, it is best to speak with your chosen experts to find out what needs and requirements you can meet and achieve within your budget.