The Shaft Yard Gate of Kew Gardens

Will Spoelstra, Palm House Supervisor, tells Katie Avis-Riordan at

“The Palm House is heated by a gas boiler situated in Kew’s Shaft Yard, which circulates hot water through pipes around the house and underneath the paths. The temperature is maintained to a minimum of 18C. There is no maximum but we open the vents when it gets above 28C for the benefit of visitor and staff wellbeing.”

From Wikipedia:

“The Palm House was originally heated by two coal fired boilers, with a 107 feet (33 m) chimney, the “Shaft of the Great Palm-Stove”, now known as the Campanile, near the garden’s main entrance. Coal was brought in by a light railway, running in a tunnel, using human-propelled wagons. The tunnel acted as a flue between the boilers and the chimney, but the distance proved too great for efficient working, and so two small chimneys were added to the Palm House. In 1950 the railway was electrified. The tunnel is now used to carry piped hot water to the Palm House, from oil-fired boilers located near the original chimney, which is extant, and is Grade II listed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s