Thomas Messenger and Co were one of the leading manufacturers of glasshouses and conservatories of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Their distinctive style was protected by several patents. The company supplied finely-crafted greenhouses to major estates such as Woburn, Beaulieu, Hever and Chatsworth and to very rich clients such as the Cadbury family at Bournville. But their forte was glasshouses for villa estates and specialist buildings like orchid houses.
Few of their buildings now survive compared to those of their competitors like Foster and Pearson. We have established a good understanding of the range of their work from the Messenger archives at the Leicestershire and Rutland Record Office and at the Museum of English Rural Life, as well as from the assessment of Messenger buildings for private clients and the National Trust.