The Palm House
The construction of the Palm House
design of the Palm House was Burton's, the extraordinary engineering and construction
work was very much Richard Turner's. The technology was borrowed from shipbuilding
and it can be seen that the design is essentially an upturned hull.
unprecedented use of light but strong wrought iron 'ship's beams' made the great
open span possible, giving room for the unhindered growth of tall specimen palms.
its tropical plants, the Palm House needed heat. Originally, the boilers were
in the basement, heating water pipes under iron gratings on which the plants stood
in great teak tubs, or in clay pots on benches.
The smoke from the boilers
was led away through pipes in a tunnel under the Palm House Pond to the elegant
Italianate Campanile smoke stack 150 m (490 ft) away. The tunnel also housed a
small railway which transported coal the the Palm House boilers.
the basement flooded in 1848, it took several years to lower the level of the
water by pumps. In 1853 the floor level of the boiler room was raised, which had
the unfortunate effect of reducing the amount of draught to the flues, badly affecting
the efficiency of the heating system and making some parts of the Palm House too
depth: Palm House: restoration
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