1854: a momentous year!

1854 was a great year for range-cooking stoves as ESSE were established. But 1854 was memorable for other reasons too. Here are a few of them.

Charles Dickens publishes Hard Times.

The Charge of the Light Brigade takes place in the Crimea. Later the same year Alfred Lord Tennyson writes his famous poem of the same name; ‘Half a league, half a league, half a league on-wards, rode the six hundred’

Florence Nightingale leaves England with a group of nurses to help look after wounded British soldiers fighting against Russian forces in the Crimea. Her efforts there will lead to the birth of modern nursing.

Oscar Wilde is born.

Cheltenham Ladies College is formed. Like ESSE, it is still going strong today.

Pull up a chair (and an Eccles cake) and browse our stunning ESSE range of cookers and stoves.





Adept Concept by Ekol: a range of options they will never stop developing.

The Adept Concept is based on Ekol’s passion to combine the perfect fire experience with practical and beautiful design that can morph to suit your individual style, lifestyle and home.

“We believe there is great beauty in something so perfectly engineered that it appears so simple.”

So say Ekol, whose experienced engineers were put to work in a laboratory and told that they couldn’t come out again until they had perfected the ideal firebox for optimum wood burning! That’s tongue-in-cheek, of course, however 12 months later the engineers emerged with a square box. What Ekol’s engineers have done is to balance the optimum air flow design, advanced re-burning of gases for ultra-clean emissions, high efficiency and easy to use controls.

“Some modernist designers once said that ‘form follows function'”

Once Ekol had the optimum firebox at the heart of the design, they set about beginning the series of components which determines the way in which the stove is positioned and interacts with its environment.

They decided that these options had to be useful as well as beautiful. They aim to combine practical robust materials which have their own tactile beauty and simple, perfectly proportioned form.

Lagom: The Swedish Hygge.

The Swedes are a nation of modest fellows. Yes, they have given the world ABBA, Volvo, IKEA and outstanding, cutting edge technology to help combat climate change, but they also pride themselves on their culture of consensus and equality. The philosophy of lagom emphasises this perfectly.

“It’s the idea that for everything there is the perfect amount: The perfect, and best, amount of food, space, laughter and sadness.”

When trying to differentiate between lagom and the Danish Hygge, succinctly put, Hygge is a moment, an hour, a weekend of pleasure, where as Lagom is a dwelling, a constant, a way of life. This is why Contura are Europe’s most popular stove maker! Their beautiful, stylish wood burning stoves are designed for the family to come home to after a walk in the snow on a cold, cold Sunday.

Country Home and Interiors magazine. Lagom: This year’s Hygge? 



Fireline: Stoves Forged in the Shadow of our Industrial Past.



The Shropshire town of Telford was created as recently as the 1960s and yet its links to the industrial past are many. The town is named after the great Victorian engineer, Thomas Telford, who, for a time, was employed as the Shropshire County Surveyor. The town is situated within the Shropshire hills, in an Area Of Outstanding Beauty. The largest of these hills, the famous Wrekin, overlooks the town, helping to create the feeling of dark and industrial Victorian beauty.

To add to this feeling of atmosphere, the historic areas of Ironbridge Gorge and Coalbrookdale lie within the town’s perimitres and both are considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. 



Fireline multifuel stoves are also situated in Telford and their own engineers have clearly been inspired by the town’s industrial past. However, unlike the Victorian coal-fuelled, smoke-belching factories and furnaces of old, Fireline’s stoves have been forged in modern laboratories to incorporate advanced, patented firebox combustion technology. This results in very clean burning and highly efficient stoves. Their wood burning stoves begin at 78% efficiency and rise to 82%, but thermal efficiency is only a small part of the story.

Their combustion technology harnesses the unique Fireline-designed airwash as an integral part of the system and not an after-thought as seen on many older designs of stove. All but their smallest Fireline 4kW wood-burning model have easily achieved DEFRA exemption for burning logs in smokeless areas.

As for Thomas Telford, upon his death, a dear friend of his gave this warm eulogy:

“Mr Telford was of the most genial disposition and a delightful companion, his laugh was the heartiest I ever heard; it was a pleasure to be in his society.”

Something tells us he would have made the perfect fireside companion too!

Check out our flaming Fireline Stoves range here:  https://elcombefirewood.co.uk/product-category/fireline/



Ekol: Saxon Fire on the Jurassic Coast.

The Dorset town of Wareham lies close to the Atlantic sea, a short distance from the chocolate box village of Lulworth Cove and the iconic Durdle Door rock. Wareham is an old Saxon town, one of the few Saxon towns still standing in England, and its history stretches back 1000 years.

When the Anglo-Saxons invaded this part of the south coast, they quickly built a settlement in which to live, and the town of Wareham grew from there. The Anglo-Saxons ground their own grain, baked their own bread and brewed their own beer. They also brewed mead, made from fermented honey, which they would cook in iron cauldrons over open fires. In the evenings, after feasting, they would gather round the fire to enjoy storytelling and riddles, and some of them would even take part in a game or two of chess.

The Anglo-Saxons were eventually replaced by the Vikings, who had their own form of fireside gathering called Lagom. The word Lagom is an Old Norse term meaning ‘team’ in Swedish. The Vikings would gather around the fire at night, drinking from horns filled with their own version of mead. Everyone was encouraged to take no more than their fair share so that others could also get their fill. Lagom means not too little or too much, but just right. It is the mindfulness of physical and mental state. It is about family and place, environment and calmness.


Ekol stoves have been developed from a desire to create truly environmentally friendly wood burning stoves which are beautiful yet subtly understated. Where form is in perfect harmony with function, and that function is so advanced that smoke seems to literally disappear as if by magic.

For Millennia fire has produced smoke. But not any more. Ekol stoves have developed a wood-burning/multi-fuel stove which emits a clean vapour – wood-burning stoves which are so clean burning, they are officially recognised by DEFRA and can be used in all UK smokeless zones/smoke control areas.

In other words, the perfect combination of primal fire and modern efficiency.

Inspired by the past, designed for the future: Come and see our extensive Ekol range of stoves.



Woodwarm Stoves: Cosy Flames in the Devonshire Valleys

Nestled down in Devon’s beautiful Culm Valley is the small and charming market town of Cullompton. Although small, and seemingly unassuming, Cullompton is the gateway to the Blackdown Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It also boasts one of England’s most stunning churches and is the home to the equally stunning Woodwarm Stoves.

The footpaths and bridleways, the undulating hills and the breathtaking scenery are a popular destination for amblers and hikers and locals seeking peaceful serenity. When it rains, and it often does in this part of the country, there is nothing more satisfying than walking for hours among the wildlife and then returning home to a steaming coffee and a warm up beside a hearty fire.

For over 40 years Woodwarm have been handcrafting their stoves in the heart of the Devon countryside. Their passion for quality, design and the environment has helped them produce a range of wood burning and multi fuel stoves that combine state of the art efficiency with reduced pollution to create really environmentally friendly stoves.

They are also passionate about design and detail and have created a range of innovative, contemporary and traditional stoves that will provide the focal point of any home.

A wood burning stove has become a “must-have” feature for stylish modern living. Woodwarm have found an environmental and efficient way of incorporating the romance of a traditional fire with modern family life.

Find out more about our Woodwarm range here.




Henley Stoves: Fire in the Emerald Isle.

The stunning county of Kerry is situated in the far south west of Ireland. It faces the wide Atlantic Ocean and so its folk are used to braving the elements, especially the wind and rain.

In fact, Kerry boasts the national record for the amount of rainfall in one day; 243.5mm (9.59 inches) recorded at Cloore Lake in 1993! The famous Dingle Bay dolphin and the seals who visit the windswept Blaskett Isles don’t worry too much about how wet the county gets, but the people who live there do. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. And there’s nothing more necessary than keeping warm!

Founded in County Kerry, Henley stoves is Ireland’s leading stove company with distribution centres in Dublin, Tralee and Cambridge UK. Their core aim is to provide a genuine quality product at affordable prices, coupled with best in class customer service. Their, and our, customers are a priority, and we strive to provide you with a quality experience when it comes to purchasing a new Henley stove for your home.

County Kerry’s motto is “Comhar, Cabhair, Cairdeas ( “Cooperation, Help, and Friendship.”). Huddling with friends around a Winter fire, with the help of roaring flames – now that sounds like a good craic to us.

Every Home Needs A Henley


The Llyn Peninsula: Chilli Penguins On The Welsh Coast

The sea-washed, windswept Llyn Peninsula lies below Snowdonia’s mountain tops in a far off corner of North Wales. Nestled between the Irish Sea on one side and Cardigan Bay on the other, it is an official Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, helped by its rugged cliffs and offshore islands.

The isle of Bardsey, in particular, boasts a plethora of animals and curiosities. Named Ynys Enlli ( the island of the currents) by the Welsh, this remote outpost houses a 6th Century monastery, several sacred stones, and a nature reserve where grey seals, manx shearwaters, fulmers and guillemots come ashore.

The Llyn Peninsula also houses the northern hemisphere’s only family of penguins!

Chilli Penguin are a small, family run business located near the Llyn Peninsula’s stunning coastline. They have a network of over 80 carefully picked stockists nationwide, of which Elcombe Fire & Wood are one. They do not sell online as they believe that a stove is a special product and should only be fitted by specialists.

The High & Mighty, The Short, The Hungry, The Woody and The Chilli Billie: take a boat across the wild waves and see for yourself the unique family of Penguins we look after at Elcombe Fire & Wood

Croeso Cynnes. A Warm Welsh Welcome.



Cosyology: Find Your Inner Peace.

Lagom – The Swedish Hygge.

The word ‘lagom’ is an Old Norse term meaning ‘team’ in Swedish. Its roots stretch back to Viking times, when they would gather around the fire at night, drinking from horns filled with mead. Everyone was encouraged to take no more than their fair share so that others could also get their fill. Lagom means not too little or too much, but just right. It is the mindfulness of physical and mental state. Lagom is about family and place, environment and calmness.

The Swedes also have a special word for their coffee break – ‘fika’ – and they spend on average 240 hours a year drinking coffee and eating buns. Much of that time is spent as a family beside log burning stoves, and this is where Contura’s Cosyology philosophy of life comes into its own.

“Many studies show that mobile-free zones reduce stress both in the workplace and at home. Make the space around your stove a place for spending time talking and being together.”

Contura don’t just make beautiful, efficient modern stoves, they are also steeped in the Swedish culture of tranquility, inspiration and peace of mind. And building more relaxation into our daily lives is clearly beneficial to everyone’s health and general well-being. Click on the links below to find out more about Cosyology and our stunning range of Contura wood-burning stoves.

Cosyology https://elcombefirewood.co.uk/cosyology-by-contura/

Contura stoves https://elcombefirewood.co.uk/product-category/stoves/by-brand/contura


Kitchen Life: When An Ordinary Stove Just Won’t Do.

Did you know that, on average, we in the UK spend 3 years of our lives working or socialising in our kitchens? To break that down, that’s 1,132 days or 27,156 hours, and we usually spend 72 minutes a time cooking our evening meals. So why spend all of those hours and days cooking on an ordinary stove, when a range cooker would not only turn your cooking time into an exquisitely decadent experience, it could also add value to your home!

ESSE pride themselves, not only on the beauty and quality of their range cookers, but also on the fact that so many respected, well-known chefs choose their cookers to work on. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Matt Tebbutt use only ESSE range cookers when giving demonstrations at the famous River Cottage in Dorset and Kate Humble also uses them at her ‘Humble By Nature’ working farm in Wales. She is so enamoured, in fact, that she has become an official ESSE ambassador.

The wood-fired Ironheart and 990 models, the Electric EL 13 and the smaller, single hob Bakeheart and Warmheart are a cut above the rest, with each individual cooker still made by hand in Lancashire by master craftsmen, just as they were when the company started in 1854.

Steam? Boil? Roast? Seer? Bake? Fry? Whatever you’re cooking for supper tonight, cook it on an ESSE hob.  We guarantee it will be 72 minutes of un-adulterated joy.

But don’t just take our word for it. Below is a short film of Matt Tebbutt demonstrating his and ESSE’s mastery.



Hwam: Hygge, Lykke and Intelligent Heat.

“The bonfire of the times of yore has gradually turned into an environmentally friendly and modern source of heat.”

The warm and cosy philosophy of Hygge has been an integral part of Danish culture since the early 19th Century. At its heart is comfort and familiarity. It’s Scandi-style interior design. It’s reading a good book while submerged in a hot bath. It’s going for a long walk with family or friends and coming home to a wood-burning fire – with a mug of hot chocolate and a weighty blanket and the radio playing as the fire warms your toes.

The Danish do not compromise on quality. All HWAM stoves are designed by well known Danish architects and furniture designers. The stoves are easy on the eye, elegant and timeless, and they fit harmoniously into classic and modern homes alike. For over 40 years, Hwam have been creating modern stoves of the highest quality. Their stoves are like classic, world-famous Danish chairs, uniting discreet Scandinavian design with extraordinary comfort.

For instance, HWAM’s very own SmartControl app allows you to easily set up your ideal room temperature via a mobile phone or tablet. It even reminds you when it’s time to fill up with logs again! Which means that all you have to do is light the fire and close the door, allowing you to kick back and enjoy the cosy heat and dancing flames.

Elcombe Fire & Wood are proud to be the only HWAM Specialist for the whole of the Cotswolds. Our showroom in Stroud has some of their most beautiful stoves on display, and our stylish 2610 model is always alight to help heat our shop and warm your hearts. From initial interest to purchase, delivery and professional installation for all wood-burning stoves, Elcombe can take your hand and lead you through the entire process. We even offer a free survey to help you choose the very best HWAM stove for you and your home.

So grab a cup of coffee, settle back and kind out browse our stunning Hwam range of stoves.

Email us at info@elcombefirewood.co.uk, call our showroom on 01453 700211 or simply visit us at 223 Bath Road, Stroud. GL5 3TA to see for yourself the HWAM stoves we have on display. We would love to hear from you.



Poor Air Quality: The Importance Of Replacing Your Open Fire With A Wood Burning Stove.

“An open fire is the wrong way to burn wood. The high level of incomplete combustion in an open fire produces higher levels of smoke and particulate emissions than a Defra Exempt or SIA Ecodesign ready stove. Nationally 40% of wood is burnt on open fires; In London this increases to 70%.

 90% Less Emissions.

Which is why households in most British cities are banned from burning wood in an open fire, although many still do regardless of The Clean Air Act of 1993. And it’s the negative data which is coming back from the use of open fires that is feeding into people’s concerns about wood burning stoves. But when it comes to emissions related to the burning of wood, an open fire will create 90% more emissions than an SIA Ecodesign stove. Or, to put it another way, burning wood in an SIA Ecodesign stove will create 90% less emissions than on an open fire!

Increase In Efficiency.

The positive news it that levels of emissions from wood burning in general has declined in most UK cities, including London. This is due to people switching to Defra Exempt stoves which are certified to reduce emissions and are designed for smoke control areas. There are also many positives for households who wish to replace their open fire with a modern wood burning stove. For one, a huge increase in efficiency will help create a lot more heat in your room, and you’ll require fewer logs to do it – it requires approximately 16 logs to produce the same amount of heat in an open fire that just 5 logs will do in an SIA Ecodesign stove!

Fewer logs also means less emissions, which means you’ll be contributing to a better environment for everyone!

Ecodesign ready Stoves

As Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Select Committee Environment Food & Rural Affairs, said recently:

“What the SIA is doing fits in with the world we have; we have problems in our inner cities with very high levels of NOx and particulates. Anything we can do to reduce that from open fires and others, through SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves has got to be an absolute benefit.”

We are passionate about the environment and our role in helping to reduce emissions so that future generations can enjoy the privileges that we have, and we couldn’t agree more with Neil Parish’s comments.




Woodsure Ready-to-Burn: The Benefits of Dry Wood Over Wet Wood.

Did You Know?

Did you know that, depending on the species, a recently felled tree can contain a moisture content somewhere in the region of 60%? Freshly cut logs, like those you may purchase from service station forecourts, will often contain around one pint of water per log! And that is a very inefficient way to warm your home.

When you burn logs with a high moisture content, a large amount of energy released from the log will be used to boil off that pint of water. This is before it even begins to heat your room. So if your logs crackle, pop, and give off steam, you’ll know that you’ve purchased inferior firewood.

However, some moisture content in a log is a good thing. If it is too dry, it will not only burn too quickly, but will also increase emissions. This is why Woodsure ready-to-burn logs are guaranteed to have a moisture content between 12% and 20%. This will both maximise heat efficiency and decrease carbon emissions.

Here at Elcombe, we are proud to sell Woodsure ready-to-burn kiln-dried logs. https://elcombefirewood.co.uk/product-category/logs/kiln-dried-logs/ 

We carry the official Woodsure ready-to-burn logo and recommend them, not only for their efficiency, but for their benefits on the environment. Burning kiln-dried logs in a wood burner will reduce your carbon emissions to just 3%. Should you wish to upgrade to a new SIA Ecodesign stove, those emissions will reduce even further, to just 1%. And that’s a statistic which is guaranteed to warm your heart as well as your home!.



Wood-Burning Stoves And The Clean Air Strategy: The Facts Not The Fiction.

There have been an awful lot of rumours flying around recently regarding wood-burning stoves and their effects on the environment. As with many things, the facts have either been ignored or misconstrued. So let’s clear up once and for all where wood-burning stoves lie in regards to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy.

Are Wood-Burning Stoves Being Banned?

Absolutely not. Defra has actually included wood burning stoves in their Clean Air Strategy, and they are recommending installing SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves and using Ready to Burn wood fuel. The Mayor of London has also given the same advice in adverts that he paid for in the Evening Standard. And this is an important development, because large parts of London have, until now, long been smoke free zones!

I’ve heard that wood burning stoves give off a lot of air pollution and particles.

All wood combustion will give off some particles. But a modern stove burning the right fuel has very low levels of emissions. This is why they’re being supported by Defra and the Mayor of London.

To clarify; a modern Ecodesign Ready stove will produce 90% less emissions than an open fire and 80% less emissions than an average 10 year old stove. This is based on independent test results from an accredited laboratory.

I’ve heard that 38% of particulate emissions (PM’s) come from wood stoves.

This figure has been in the press, and it is by far the most misleading statistic. It is based on emissions, not just from wood-burning, but all levels of particulates in the urban environment, including transport! If you only consider emissions from wood combustion – open fires, incinerators, bonfires,, bbqs and stoves, then the figure drops to 16%. The estimate of emissions created by wood stoves is just 3%, most of which will come from stoves over 10 years old. So by replacing them with modern Ecodesign stoves the emissions could be further reduced to just 1%. Couple that with the purchase of kiln-dried ready-to-burn logs and the environmental impact is minimal. https://elcombefirewood.co.uk/product-category/logs/kiln-dried-logs/ 

Is wood a sustainable resource?

There is more than enough home-grown wood to ensure it is sustainable. Furthermore, new Ecodesign Ready stoves are more efficient than either an open fire or a ten year old stove. They use less logs to generate the same heat output.

What is different about an Ecodesign Ready stove?

Ecodesign Ready stoves have been independently tested to verify that they meet the forthcoming Ecodesign test criteria that will be introduced as a requirement in 2022. These stoves have been tested to ensure low outputs of CO, OGC’s, PM’s & NOx. Whereas standard CE approved stoves only have to pass a far easier standard on CO. SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves also have to have efficiency of at least 75%. This is opposed to the 65% requirement for a standard CE approved stove.

Are wood burning stoves at all “green”?

Yes, wood burning stoves are a genuine renewable low carbon method of heating, and the modern stoves also have low levels of emissions. A key aspect here is the carbon neutral nature of wood burning. Trees remove as much CO2 during their lives as they produce being burnt in a wood burning stove. 


Elcombe Firewood: Delivering A Great Service!

During the long, hot summer months, when time drips like honey and no one considers burning wood to keep them warm, in our woodyard the hard work is still going on. Logs need to be cut and boxes need to be filled, ready for the busy winter ahead.

When the winter ends and spring arrives, that’s lots of firewood to be cut and dried again before summer is out! And that is why, when our drivers take off their driving gloves in March, they quickly replace them again with gloves fit for wood-chopping purposes. They take them off to eat their honey, though.

Carbon Monoxide: The Dangers Of Ash.

On the night of December 8th, 2017, two fire crews from Newton Abott responded to a suspected carbon monoxide alert. At the address, their meter quickly detected gas. They checked around the log burner and the gas reading continued. When they noticed a bucket filled with ash next to the burner, they kindly offered to empty it. However, when they discovered the ash was still warm, they had a hunch. They held their detector over the embers and it suddenly went into full alarm.

When they removed the crust on the ash, exposing the warmer embers below, the carbon monoxide reading went from 129 PPM to 378 PPM. This is enough to cause headache and nausea after an hour’s exposure and a threat to life after two hours. The warm ash was producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, and the tenant was only saved from serious harm because she had a CO alarm fitted.

Our advice, of course, is to not leave ash inside your property once it has been swept from your wood burner. It should be removed at once and disposed of in a safe place in the open air. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. Have your chimney swept and your stove serviced regularly. Only use wood that is certified to have 25% or less moisture content. Have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. Stay safe.

Tar In Your Chimney: Why It’s A Problem.

Look up inside your chimney. Can you see a shiny black surface coating a large part of the visible area of the chimney? Yes? Then you probably have a tar problem.

What Causes It?

When wood which is not thoroughly seasoned is burnt, the wood is not fully combusted. As it burns it releases quantities of steam from the moisture of the wood. The smoke and steam cool as it rises and condense out on the inside of the chimney, lining the flue with tar. Tar is, of course, a flammable substance and the area at the base of your chimney is likely to be a part of the problem. The higher up your chimney the smoke rises, the more it cools. This means the greatest amount of tar will be found at the top of the chimney, therefore it cannot be easily seen.

Why Is It A Problem?

When tar in a chimney ignites through prolonged exposure to high heat, your chimney experiences a rapid change of temperature. This can cause structural damage to the building. The tars and acids that are deposited in a chimney also corrode the mortar. In some cases this is to the extent where you will be able to lift bricks off the top of the chimney by hand. Should there be a chimney fire, this will undoubtedly increase the risk of fire spreading. Tar and condensates may also leak out of the chimney. They will come through the chimney breast and external wall which will cause discolouration and ruin the decor.

How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Tar is a sticky substance. It is extremely difficult to remove by brushing alone. The amount of tar in any chimney will, of course, vary. So we recommend a 3-step process:

  1. Do you have an older property with a chimney lined with mortar or render? And is the tar stuck to the lining? If so, it may be possible to knock off both the render and the tar together through rotary or power sweeping. This does compromise the integrity of the flue, therefore it must be lined afterwards with a flexible flue liner. An alternative product may be available.
  2. There are a variety of products on the market which you can add to your fire as it burns to release a chemical. The chemical rises up your chimney acts as a catalyst for the tar. This causes it to crystallise and harden. The brittle tar can be removed by sweeping.
  3. If you have a large amount of tar, or if adding a specialised product to your fire has not worked, then a full chemical clean is recommended. This involves warming the flue and using an air compressor with specialist equipment. This applies a strong catalysing chemical to the entire lining of the flue. The process requires 20kW of heat for up to 10 hours. By this time the chemical will have crystallised the tar, enabling it to be removed through sweeping.


Reducing Your Carbon Footprint: The Rise of Wood Burning Stoves

Did you know that wood burning stoves radiate five times as much heat as an average open fire? This means that by having one you will be reducing your carbon footprint in many different ways.

How? Well, to begin with, as long as you are burning dry, seasoned hardwood, you will already be creating 14% less carbon monoxide than an open fire. Using drier wood also means that you’ll need to use less logs, thus reducing the amount of labour and transport required to deliver those logs to your door.

Current estimates suggest that wood burning stoves could account for 10% of the government’s carbon reduction targets by 2020. It is also estimated that a greater use of wood burning stoves could help to reduce the UK carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes a year. This is based on their predicted higher sales and a sharp rise in other fuels such as gas and electric.

Did you also know that high quality wood emits less CO2 when burned than when it decays naturally?

It is little wonder, then, that average yearly UK sales of wood burning stoves have exceeded 175,000!

ESSE Ironheart: Three Ways to Cook

“The Ironheart family is our flagship range: encapsulating everything we know about cooking and heating in one beautifully simple stove.”

Hand-made in Britain

So say ESSE, and they know a thing or two above stoves, having been in business since 1854! The Ironheart range is a family of three – The Ironheart, the Bakeheart and the Warmheart. Their timeless charm is obvious to see. We like to think that they are a perfect combination of old and new. They incorporate all of ESSE’s 160 years of experience and design together with modern, super-efficient clean-burn technology to help protect the environment. They are hand-made in Britain by craftsmen and women with decades of experience. And they are reassuringly durable, providing years of faithful service.

The Bakeheart and Warmheart are single hob cookers – perfect for making omelettes and winter stews . Whereas the Ironheart is a range cooker, larger in size, with two hotplates and a wood-burning oven.  It’s basically a cook’s best friend. The Ironheart range promises three ways of cooking, and we’ll let ESSE tell you why.

Ironheart: Three ways to cook.

Direct To Hob: Sizzle, steam, toast, braise, boil and fry. An ESSE cast iron hotplate offers multiple cooking methods. A heavy based pan or griddle can be heated on the hob. Searing, chargrilling or toasting can take place directly on the hotplate. And the dome design of the ESSE bolster lids creates a steam environment.

Cast iron hotplates are graduated temperature surfaces with the most concentrated heat always centred above the firebox. Bakeheart and Warmheart incorporate a hob with removable cast iron rings ideal for cradling a round based pan or wok.

Over Embers: Savour the exceptional flavours of wood fired cooking. The ESSE Ironheart range includes shelved firebricks and a rack for cooking in your firebox. As your flame subsides to glowing embers, consider the wood fired flavours you can bring to your dishes. The glazed door allows sight of food during cooking.

You too can achieve that classic restaurant chargrill bar mark.

Roast in the Oven: Maximise the energy created by your wood fired stove. For Ironheart and Bakeheart the heat generated in your firebox is transferred to an oven. The ovens are designed deeper than they are wide to minimise heat loss upon opening the oven door. This creates the perfect surround heat baking or roasting environment.

The oven incorporates an ESSE thermo-dial. With regulation of your fire you can cook at ESSE dial guide COOK (100-120 C) through to ESSE dial guide VERY HOT (260 C).

Variable shelf positions and the ability to cook direct to the oven floor grant further oven capacity and versatility.


Having a Gas: The Benefits of Buying a Gas Fire.

So you want to avoid the hassle of wood smoke, wood ash, and having to ferry logs around from one place another. But you still desire the warmth and joy that a real flame provides. Then perhaps a gas stove is the way ahead.

There are many benefits a gas stove can offer, the obvious one being that you’ll get instant flames and heat. This will be much appreciated on cold winter mornings as you rise from bed! You can also regulate the flow of heat to suit your needs via a remote control button, removing the chore of carrying and adding logs to keep a wood stove fed. Our gas stoves are aesthetically pleasing; we sell beautifully designed fires including ESSE and Charlton & Jenrick ranges. 

The ESSE Flueless Gas 500 Vista, in particular, boasts a number of interesting features. These include an oxygen depletion sensor, which constantly monitors the room’s air quality, and an auto safety shut off. It also comes with a 100% efficiency rating!

Still not entirely convinced? Then pay a visit to our gas showroom at 223 Bath Road, Stroud, to see for yourself the quality of our stoves.

Will you be tempted to buy after visiting? Your gas is as good as ours!



ESSE: 160 Years In The Making.

The ESSE stove company was established as far back as 1854 by a Scotsman named James Smith. Born in Edinburgh, Smith left for New York in 1832 at the tender age of 16, in the hope of making his fame and fortune in the new world. His travels took him, first to New Orleans, and then to Jackson, Mississippi. It was here he started his own metal work business. The business proved such a success that James eventually brought his skills back to Britain and set up a new business manufacturing stoves.   

Through the intrepid exploits of Florence Nightingale and Ernest Shackleton, Smith’s legacy continued. Nightingale, in particular, was so passionate about ESSE cookers that she would use no other brand at her field hospital in Balaclava, Crimea.

“I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th January and to say that the stove you kindly sent us is now at the Castle Hospital, Balaclava. I beg to add that I have shown it to Monsieur Soyer, who greatly approved of it. Indeed, its merits were already known to him. I beg to repeat my thanks for this useful contribution.”

She once wrote to an associate in a letter of appreciation.

Ernest Shackleton’s ESSE stove, ‘Mrs Sam’, helped feed and keep alive 15 freezing men throughout the winter of 1908. The stove still stands today, along with the hut that sheltered it. You can find it the icy floes of the Antarctic, should you wish to visit it at all! Shackleton and his team eventually reached the summit of Mt.Erebus. For this feat he was later knighted by King Edward VII.

Today, ESSE stoves and range cookers continue to be assembled by hand by a highly skilled workforce in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. ESSE use British cast iron and steel and, wherever possible, they prioritise British component supplies. Kate Humble cooks on an ESSE range cooker at her Humble By Nature Farm in South Wales, as do Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Mark Tebbutt at River Cottage in Dorset. 

And, yes, An ESSE range cooker became the first range cooker to star on the silver screen when it appeared in the 1984 Bond movie, A View To A Kill, starring Roger Moore. Now that’s a fact worth shouting about!

Contura – Lighting An Environmentally-Friendly Fire.

Swedish initiative.

Sweden’s approach to the effects of climate change has always been ahead of the game. In 1967, they were the first country in the world to establish an environmental protection agency. In 2001, the Stockholm Convention was largely a Swedish initiative. It was a global treaty set up to phase out the production and use of organic pollutants.  Today, over 50% of their national energy supply is provided by renewables. This is more than twice that of the UK.  New government legislation is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a far greater rate than the minimum required.

And so it should come as little surprise that all stoves in the Swedish Contura range are designed to be carbon-neutral.


Contura. Stringent Demands

Contura, based in the south west of Sweden, has one of Europe’s most modern production plants. Here they place stringent demands on manufacturing and use. Unhealthy particulates and hydrocarbons that are formed in inefficient systems inevitably find their way into the atmosphere. Contura are facing this challenge head on.

How? Well, in their own words:

“Contura stoves are efficient because the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced during combustions is low. It is also taken up by new trees as they grow. They lessen the reliance of the main heating source in a home without having a harmful effect on the environment. When compared to other stoves, Contura’s designs are 80% more energy-efficient. This is thanks to the use of the latest combustion technology. 

The efficient combustion technology involves air supply to the stove at different stages. Initially, air is supplied to the fire bed before reaching the back of the stove via a spreader. This means the stove never runs out of oxygen. It allows it to burn in a cleaner and more efficient way.”