|The present Calke
Abbey building is an amalgum of the three buildings that have stood on
the same site. The first was Calke Priory built in the 1100's. The
second was a modernisation made during the Elizabethan period and
finally the Mansion House as it stands currently was built in the
very early 1700's.
The house, gardens and estate were the home of the Harpur family from 1622 until it became the property of The National Trust in 1985.
The Abbey does not possess any original central heating. Other than the Entrance Hall, all the rooms are heated by open-fire places.
the cast iron stove
fitted in the Entrance Hall is of particular engineering interest as it
is of a
pattern that uses a downward discharge arrangement for the removal of
gases. The installation of a vertical flue from the stove was
to the location of the Saloon room above. The flue was therefore routed
an underfloor duct that connects with the open-fire place in the
that has a vertical chimney. The fire in the open-fire place when
warm the chimney enough to provide sufficient draught necessary to
draw through the flue gases from the stove’s underfloor flue.
heating effect from the stove is provided by radiation direct from the
open fire and
side panels, and by convection through the circular brass
hit-and-miss grille fitted in the top of the stove.
This pattern of warm air stove with an underground flue system is a rare discovery and most unusual. Only one other example is known to exist, and that is located at the Argory, the National Trust property in Northern Ireland.
The estate has several walled gardens Physic, Orangery and Flower with hot houses that contained and grew tropical fruits such as Oranges, Peaches and Pineaples.
various buildings forming part of the gardens and its hot houses have
several areas of engineering
interest. Different styles or types of
heating systems serve the Orangeries, Pineries, Peach Houses and other
hothouses. The variety of heating arrangements in these garden
created a timeline showing how the evolution of heating in hot houses
progressed from the 1700’s and into the 1800’s.
It is unfortunate that the majority of the heating system's ironwork had been removed from the Garden buildings. This occured before The National Trust acquired the property in 1985. Luckily though, much of the original brickwork for the furnaces, flues and chimneys together with some cast iron pipework can still be seen.
Two saddle pattern boilers also still remain (Physic Garden and Orangery).
A Cockle warm air stove still preserved in a reasonable condition. This is a pattern of iron stove first provided by William Strutt for a heating system installed in the Derby General Infirmary in 1807. The Calke stove probably dates from 1836 when the cast iron dome was erected. Written records show the dome was erected by Harrison, who had his ironworks in Derby. It is also possible that Harrison cast the cockle stove in his ironworks to the design provided by Strutt.
The cockle iron stove is completely enclosed within the brickwork furnace and unfortunately therefore, it is not possible to establish the internal structural arrangement of the cockle and its associated brickwork.
That this rare cockle stove still exists affords a wonderful opportunity to carry out remedial structural works to open up the brickwork and expose the front end of the cockle, to show its size, construction and shape.