Thought to have been built in 1831 but recent archive research
has revealed it was in fact built in 1801. Constructed on the
site of the original Orange Wall that was used for standing the
citrus trees outside during the summer months.
When Lord Nelson with Sir William and Lady Hamilton visited the gardens in 1803 the glasshouse was known as the small conservatory and contained a wide selection of exotic plants. It is recorded that Nelson rewarded the gardener who guided them through the site with the sum of three shillings.
A visitor in 1811 reported the largest specimen of F. coccinea that he had ever seen growing in the glasshouse at Margam.
The building was refurbished in 1831 and a Propagating House was added along the north-facing wall. The original Victorian ironwork, stanchions, and ventilation control mechanisms are still in place and operating. Some of the original glazing from the 1840's can be seen in the roof and subsequent replacements have maintained the 'Beaver Tail' shape. This ensured that rainfall was directed down the centre of the panes rather than at the edges where it would eventually damage the wooden glazing bars.
When the property was finally surrendered to public ownership in the 1940's much of it was neglected and quickly became seriously dilapidated. In 1977 as part of the Royal Jubilee celebrations the Orangery and the Citrus House were restored to their former glory and a collection of citrus were established in the glasshouse. Unfortunately lack of skilled staff caused the collection to suffer and many fine plants were lost.
Finally in 1998 the offer was made to Fuchsia Research International to occupy and utilise the Citrus House to create an Andean habitat suitable for the species of the genus Fuchsia.