Thaxted Church is without doubt one of the grandest in the
county of Essex, and is built to Cathedral proportions and
The church is dedicated to St John the Baptist, St Mary and St
Laurence and is in the Deanery of Saffron Waldon and the
Archdeanery of Colchester.
Standing proudly on top of the hill with a splendid tower and spire
it dominates the town and can be seen from miles around
Construction on the church began in 1340 and continued until
the reformation being completed in 1510. English ecclesiastical
architecture at its very best.
The previous heating system was a warm air system that was not
only inadequate, but also completely inappropriate for Thaxted.
Historic buildings such as churches of this age, need to be
heated gently and evenly, and not with sudden infrequent hits of
hot air which can cause thermal shock on the structure as well as
high levels of moisture and condensation.
Churchwardens Prof Colin Harrison and Maureen Edwards
greeted my on my first of many visits to the church and were very
clear in their requirements for the new system. They were very
aware of the potential pitfalls that such a large and costly project
could throw up and, as with all shemes of this size, there were
many obstacles to overcome before it could come to fruition.
As someone who has personallyoverseen nearly a thousand
church heating schemes, this still presented me with one of my
most challenging tasks and I am greatful to both Colin and
Maureen for showing great faith in trusting me and my company
to carry out the works. I know the finished scheme vindicated
their faith as the the church is now warmer that ever before and
the fabric will now benefit from a warm and stable humidity to
protect the church.
Like all great muscular churches they need gentle even heat and
the system we designed and installed was a low temperature hot
water system with three wall mounted gas boilers serving 30
radiators around the perimeter of the church.
A major concern of the diocese was the aesthetic impact of the
radiators against the walls. Our traditional Minster vertical fluted
radiators were deemed unsuitable so we opted for a specially
sourced radiator that had a flat front but was still triple panelled and
rear fluted and so still delivered the same high heat output. Two fan
assisted units were fitted at the tower base to reduce the possibility
of cold down draughts.
Visually the result was excellent and the new radiators blend
harmoniously with the walls.
The boilers are wall mounted condensing units with stainless steel
heat exchangers and are electronically sequenced to maximise fuel
economy and ensure that all three boilers are used equally. The
system is controlled centrally by our unique Churchwarden control
Low pressure hot water system with steel pipework and natural convection radiators connected to a gas fired boiler plant consisting of three wall mounted boilers with a boiler management system.
- Flat faced minster triple panelled radiators
- 3 x Potterton 105kW Sirius units
- Grunfoss energy saving pumps
- Spirotec cleaning and filtration
- Churchwarden 17 static controls