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Wightwick Manor

The Manor was built in two phases at different times. The West Wing built in 1887 was extended to include the East Wing in 1893. It is a Grade I Listed building designed by Edward Ould of Liverpool and built for Theodore Mander. The Mander family were industrialists in the west Midlands area. The property was given to the National Trust in 1937.

The West Wing central heating installation was a Perkins MPHW system complete with a brickwork furnace. The system which comprised 5 circuits was installed by John King Limited Liverpool. The connection between John King Limited and the designer Edward Ould both from Liverpool speaks for itself. 

As a medium pressure system (MPHW) it was fitted with a water cistern and integral pressure balancing valve that allowed the heated water in the pipework as it expanded, to spill into the water tank. When the water in the system had cooled the pressure valve would open and allow the water in the cistern to re-enter the pipework. It was necessary to occasionally manually top up the system water by opening the counter weight on the balancing valve. This operation could only be carried out when the system water was cold.

The Perkins system pipework that still remains in the rooms is mainly hidden behind grilles /gratings in the bay windows and took the form of sinuous coils. The small amount of pipework in each room made it most probable that it only provided a background level of heating.

John King Limited Liverpool furnace nameplate

Pipe coils inside brickwork furnace

Pipe circuits on top of brickwork furnace

Pipe circuits on side of furnace brickwork

At a later date most of the Perkins system pipework was removed presumably to allow space for the next wet heating system to be installed. Correspondence dated 1910 shows that another improved wet heating system was installed by the firm of Killick& Cochran Liverpool.

This later heating system has a combination of Beeston Boiler Company 'Royal School' pattern 2-column cast iron sectional radiators. The second pattern of radiator is a modern design possible added when the 1991 system was installed. 

Beeston Royal School pattern sectional radiator

Modern cast iron sectional radiator with Del-flo valves

The East Wing built 1893 originally had Killick & Cochran's own cast iron sectional heaters installed in the Ground Floor area. Several of their sectional heaters are still connected to the current pipework system. These heaters are an early pattern of cast iron heater that had their sections bolted together.

A 11 section heater

The majority of rooms at all floor levels have fireplaces that formed the primary heating for the room. The fireplaces in the family rooms are highly ornate pattern decorated with Victorian tiled surrounds. These tiles of various colours and designs are the work of William De Morgan.


Most of the family's main and ancillary rooms in the West Wing are fitted with 'Tobin' tubes which introduced ducted fresh air into the room. Tobin tubes are connected to the outside and fitted with damper control to regulate the amount of fresh air required.

This tube has been carefully concealed within the
timber and wallpaper. The timber top frame is
evidence of its position

This tube has been hidden behind the timber paneling.
The top of the tube is at the level of the timber moulding.
Note the careful concealment of the control damper.


The turkish bathroom was heated by a Constantine convoluted pattern warm air stove. The stove is sited in the basement and is of 'built into brickwork' design.

The hot air would enter the room through the grille fitted in the top of the tiled brick tower.

View taken inside top flue header
chamber showing outlets from
chamber below and
single chimney
outlet above.


Both Kitchen Ranges are manufactured by the
Eagle Range & Gas Stove Co Ltd, Aston Cross, Birmingham


The central domestic water supply has been removed and is now provided by 'point of use' heaters.

However towel rails constructed from copper tubing and fittings are still fitted in bathrooms.
They are all an interesting design feature dating from the Victorian period.


September 2014