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Chimney sweep Watford
Chimney sweeps - Solid fuel fires - Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

Chimney Cowls and Bird Guards in Shenley, Hertfordshire

Chimney Cowls and Bird Guards in Shenley

A little about Shenley in Hertfordshire

The history of Shenley goes back a thousand years or so and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The name Shenley is based on the Anglo-Saxon Scenlai, Scenlei or Senlai, which means 'fair or bright clearing or wood'. In the early Middle Ages, southwest Hertfordshire was heavily wooded, with isolated farmsteads or hamlets in clearings. Shenley would have been one of these settlements.

By the 14th century, Shenley was considered to be a convenient parish for a country estate for the aristocracy, being within reasonable reach of London. Its pure air, after the smoke and fog of the city made it a much healthier place to live. The present village of Shenley grew to accommodate the families of those providing a variety of services for the country estates of the wealthy. Parish registers, dating back to 1657, include service occupations such as coachmen, bailiffs, bakers and labourers. Others worked in agriculture, as cattle drovers, shepherds and millers. Craftsmen in Shenley included tailors, weavers, shoemakers, cordwainers, brick makers, blacksmiths and carpenters. Tiles and bricks were made in the area, due to the glut of suitable clay.

Although many of Shenleys population were involved in the poorer paid occupations, the village was considered pretty prosperous. In 1754 the village of Shenley was assessed to be the sixteenth highest parish in the county, by 1823, the rateable value of the parish was 9,796.00, with only nine other parishes in the county rating higher.

During the First World War, part of the land at Porters was requisitioned and used as an aerodrome. Later Mr Raphael sold the land to Middlesex County Council in 1924 and, several years later, two psychiatric hospitals were built on the land. The design was such that as many of the existing buildings as possible were incorporated, including the mansion, the walled garden, stables and coach houses. King George V and Queen Mary officially opened Shenley hospital in 1934. During the Second World War, part of Shenley hospital was used as a military hospital, with three thousand wounded soldiers being treated there.

Shenley Hospital remained in service for over 60 years. It was then sold off to property developers for housing. It was not without some trepidation that some of the old-time residents viewed what had been described as an annex to Shenley but what, in reality, would more than double the number of residences in the village. However, the development took place, but as well as houses, Shenley Park was developed and maintained for the enjoyment of the whole village. These included preserving the orchard and spinney for pleasant walks and recreation, landscaping the walled garden, which are often open to the public and host a number of events throughout the year, redeveloping the tennis courts to a high standard, and, more recently, the introduction of a teashop and play area.

Bird cages, caps and cowls fitted in Shenley

Should your chimney require a cap or cowl, Ansell Chimneys will have the one to suit your property to protect against the following:

  • Birds or squirrels getting into and possibly nesting in the chimney
  • Our caps and cowls prevent rain from getting into the chimney
  • A good quality cowl or cap stops down drafts
  • To prevent bird and rain entry to a disused chimney, leaving the homeowner with an option to start using a fire in the future without having to clear many years build up of debris.

It is vital to fit the correct type of bird cage, cowl or cap, or problems may occur. With Ansell Chimneys valuable experience, we can identify your particular needs and advise you on the correct type for your situation. We will also look at the other houses nearby to ensure we fit one that is in keeping with the Shenley area.

Ansell Chimneys fit all the major types of cages, caps and cowls, so let us know what you want to keep out of your chimney and we can tell you what would be the best option for you.

Ansell Chimneys have a selection of cowls in our vans to demonstrate what they look like and what they are most effective at keeping out of the chimney. We will then arrange to come back to Shenley to install the correct cap or cowl to your chimney.

Fitting the caps and cowls is a relatively straightforward job and we do everything we can to avoid the need for scaffolding or other specialised access equipment, a ladder will usually be sufficient.

Fortunately, Shenley is well within our 'areas covered' range so this will not push the price up at all for either chimney sweeping or bird caps and cowl fitting.

Birds nests and blockage removal in Shenley

One of the first signs that an animal is making a home, or has previously made one in your chimney is that there will be twigs, leaves or other debris in the fireplace that has fallen from above. The most frequent culprits that like to set up residence in your chimneys tend to be some of the carrion birds, such as crows and magpies and occasionaly squirrels. There are plenty of these creatures around Shenley and as the town expands, their natural habitat is decreased. This simply means they will look for an alternative place to roost or nest, as the number of trees diminishes.

Any obstruction in a chimney can be potentially lethal! It's not just the solid fuel fires that are a problem either, even a gas fire will release carbon monoxide back into the living space if it can't escape safely up the chimney. When it comes to a fire that burns solid fuels, the chimney can become blocked resulting in smoke coming back into the room or a chimney fire could start, causing a huge amount of expensive damage to the rest of your home.

If you think there is a blockage in your chimney, don't wait for something bad to happen, give us a call immediately. We will remove the blockage and in doing so, be in a better position to tell you why it happened in the first place. For example, there may be a loose or dislodged brick or piece of mortar. It may even be a nest from a bird or squirrel and a bird cap or cowl may well be the answer to prevent it happening again in the future.

Because birds eggs and nests are protected by law in England and Wales and that there may be hatched baby birds in a nest, we will not remove nests during the breeding season, which is May & June, this ensures that the young have had a good chance to leave the nest. After all, there are fewer birds around Shenley already because of loss of habitat, light pollution and the increase in the number of cats that are kept as pets. Ansell Chimneys like to ensure that we don't contribute to the decline of our little feathered friends.

Why not ask Ansell Chimneys for advice on sweeping your chimney in Shenley

Ansell Chimneys really are the experts, If you are experiencing a lack of draw on a chimney, or smoke finding its way back into your room, give us a call; we are always very happy to provide advice on what could potentially be a life threatening situation.

Ansell Chimneys advice is free of charge. If you can't use your fire because it's dangerous, you will be missing out on the homely glow a real fire brings during the winter months. So why not give us a call and get that open fire up and running again.

Cost of chimney sweeping services

Our prices are based on the property location and number of chimneys that need sweeping. Please contact us for a no obligation quote. As Shenley is not far from our head office, jobs here will not attract a higher quote.

Smoke tests in Shenley

After Ansell Chimneys have swept your chimney, we carry out a quick, simple but effective test to ensure there is the correct draw and no smoke or other pollutants can flow back into your living space. This is quite simply a match-like device that smokes profusely when burnt and is placed just above the site of the fire. If the smoke is neatly drawn up the chimney, the fire will be safe to use.

So if you live in Shenley and need your chimney swept, why not call or email Ansell Chimneys and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Ansell Chimneys

t: 01923 661 614

m: 07941 282 325

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