Parish Church of St Nicholas
Kenilworth.  Warwickshire

The Parish Church of St Nicholas in Kenilworth is over 700 years old and
is sited adjacent to the historical remains of Kenilworth Abbey and Castle.

The pipework of the Victorian wet heating system installed in the church is of
a most unusual shape
and design. The pipe has a rectanglar profile with a
single splayed shoulder. The top surface has a diamond shaped embossed pattern.

The three pew islands in the Nave have a raised floor level approx 100mm higher than the adjacent aisles, and it is at this change in height where the rectangular pipework is fitted tight up to the timber plinth. The four runs of pipes appear to be single pipe loops which form of a ring main routed around the pew islands.  Each length of pipework has a bottom sited single support bracket which rests directly on the tiled floor. There appears to be no provision for expansion in any of the long runs but this arrangement seems to work satisfactorily.

centre aisle

left hand aisle

right hand aisle

Each pipe run is made up from 1800 mm lengths of cast iron pipework with a
and spigot connector which has a caulked joint. Two different lengths of
sockets have been used. The reason for these alternatives is not apparent.

As can be seen the socket rests directly on the floor tile. We can therefore
reasonably assume that the heating system was installed at the time
when the church had its Victorian restoration.

The short section of each rectangular pipe at the end of the aisle has been made with
pieces which convert to circular cast iron pipework as shown below.

It was recently discovered that one of the small size pipe sockets had developed a hair line crack which was allowing the system water to seep away into the subsoil. So a repair was urgently needed with the replacement section manufactured to the same pipe profile, which would then not destroy the shape and continuity of the existing pipe run.

Blue Diamond Plumbing & Heating Ltd of Warwick a local contractor, was
employed to carry out the repair as the following pictures illustrate. It was
rewarding to find that time and thought had been given to the repair of the
cast iron pipework which maintained the original integrity of design.

Thanks are acknowledged to Brough Skingley who provided the pictures

Cutting out a section of pipe
with the leaking socket

The leaking socket has now been removed

Cutting to length the new section of
pipe to fit into the removed section

The completed pipe length with the
two new slip sockets fixed in position

 The newly installed and painted replacement section of pipe with sockets

AUGUST  2010