Hi - I wonder if anyone can throw some light on a boiler which has been
found in an enclosed vault in Oxford Prison.
C Wing shows many features which are said to relate to John Howard's
penal reforms, including this vaulted substructure. But If the boiler
was installed before the vault was closed, that looks like impressive
An early date is implied by the partitioning of the boiler room, the
boiler itself being bricked up when the stoking end of the boiler room
took on a new judicial function (as the drop for internal hangings when
public hanging ceased).
The inference is that the boiler was redundant by 1868. There is no
sign of a maker's plate. The distinctive feature (to an amateur) is
that the water jacket is saddle-shaped, it has no tubes and no fins
inside or out (see photos). This suggests it was not going to be very
efficient, which might support the 1780s date.
Any guidance on early boilers will be welcome. - Brian Durham
Brian Durham ([log in to unmask])
also Oxford City Council ([log in to unmask])