Pergolas are thought to have originated in Ancient Egyptian times, when they may have been used for the purpose of shading from the sun or as a style statement! They may also have been used an important tools in growing plants including figs and vines.
The Chinese were also early adopters of the wooden pergola, with typical usage in a temple garden to create shade from the sun.
The Roman usage of the pergola included decorative details and in fact, the term pergola came from the Latin ‘pergula’, which means ‘projecting eave’. The word pergola is recorded in usage as early as 1645.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw pergola usage in decline, as other garden features such as the arbour increased in popularity. With the invention of aluminium came a new dawn of pergola design, with free standing models appearing initially mainly in commercial applications and now a firm fixture in modern garden design.
In the UK, a modern pergola, incorporating panels, rotating louvers and even heating elements, has the capacity to provide an extra room in the garden.