St Mary the Virgin
Elmley CastleWorcestershire

When the writer of these webpages revisited the Church in 2004, it was profoundly depressing to find that in a Grade I Listed building a Heating firm had been prepared to remove and destroy an irreplaceable example of our engineering heritage. This unique example of Victorian craftmanship of a heating system installed in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee year of 1887, had been dismantled, removed and destroyed.
If engineering vandalism was rated as a crime then the destruction of this system must stand accused as the perfect example.


The church dates back to the 13th century whilst the heating system can be dated to around the year of 1887 Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.  The heating system appears to be entirely of cast iron and is a excellent example of Victorian engineering.

Three different patterns of early cast iron radiators (making a total of 3 pairs) can be seen in the Church. These heaters are all fed by cast iron socket and spigott pipework using caulked and leaded joints.


8 row cast iron single
horizontal box
ended pipe coil heater
with square ends and
bottom external socket
flow and return connections.

5 row  double bank
pipe coil
heater with square
boxed ends and
external socket flow
and return connections.


Circular vertical tube
pipe coil heater
with top
and bottom
header boxes.
The flow
and return pipe

connections are both
in the underside
base of  the heater.


All the cast iron heating pipework is routed at floor level alongside the edge of the pews on both sides of the aisle.

It is unknown to find heating equipment marked with any form of celebratory inscription. Therefore to find this radiator inscribed to mark the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria is both extraordinary and wonderful. The proximity of Elmley Castle to Stourbridge could indicate that the well known firm of Jones & Attwood of Stourbridge may well have been the manufacturer of this heating equipment.