In 1871, he was involved in a conservatory for Mr. John Porter Foster, of Killhow, Wigton, Cumberland. The conservatory, described, as being to a design by Mr. Grayson, cost £340 including heating. It is difficult to determine either the exact design or dimensions of this conservatory; however, the roof required 1,395 superficial feet of framing, at least part of which was a lean-to. There were five doors, 28ft. of cresting, 3 finials, 150 superficial feet of flat staging, 78 superficial feet of flat staging with rounded ends. There was also 45 feet of ornamental iron guttering referred to as No. 87 in Macfarlane catalogue, for which he paid 1s 6d. per foot, charging the customer 1s. 10d. This is one of the earliest instances of Messenger using Mr. Macfarlane’s gutters, almost certainly a reference to Arthur Macfarlane and Co., architectural iron founders, sanitary engineers and art workers, of Glasgow. Messenger used Macfarlane’s gutters on about 12 occasions between 1871 and 1875 with around two thirds of those were on conservatories. The overall price included 120 days for a joiner and 50 days for a labourer to build the conservatory, charged at 5s. 3d. and 2s 9d. per day respectively. The conservatory had one or more lanterns that appear to have been a late alteration as Mr. Foster was charged an additional £2 for the framing and 10s. for an iron scroll. The front was glazed with 750 superficial feet of third quality 21oz. glass. The conservatory also has patterned blinds installed at a cost of £10 1s. 6d. The heating system comprised of a No. 7 boiler, 160 yards of 4-inch, 35 yards of 2-inch hot water pipes, 120 cement joints, two 6-way siphons and four 3-way siphons. 16 days fitting was allowed for a fitter and labourer to complete the heating installation.
The same year, he built a heated conservatory for Mr. Grundy of Stoneygate Street, Leicester, to a design described as No. 1, which may refer to his 1870 catalogue. The component list included seven “fronts” totalling 396 superficial feet; six roof elements, two measuring 24ft. by 10ft. 9in., two 5ft. square and two pediments one measuring 8ft. by 1ft. 3in. and 18ft. by 3ft. There were also 32 feet of cresting, two finials and forty-four rounded cornices to the sashes. Internally, it was fitted out with five stages, four of which were flat, totalling 145 superficial feet and one stepped stage, measuring 12ft. by 5ft. The accompanying heating system comprised of a No. 2 boiler, 50 yards of 4-inch, 27 yards of 2-inch hot water pipes and 44 cement joints.
John Porter Foster (1811 – 1878) was Sheriff of Cumberland in 1875 and a distinguished shorthorn cattle breeder. ↑