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

Chimney Sweep in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Chimney sweeping in Rickmansworth

The history of Rickmansworth

There was a settlement in this part of the Colne valley at about the time of the Stone age. Rickmansworth was one of five manors with which the great Abbey of St Albans had been given when it was founded in 793 by King Offa. Local taxes supported the abbey, which provided clergy to serve the people until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. Around the time of the Domesday Book, the population of Rickmansworth may have been about 200.

Cardinal Wolsey, the Abbot of St Albans, held the Manor of le More in the valley. The manor house was replaced by Moor Park, which eventually became the residence of Admiral Lord Anson, who commissioned Capability Brown to remake the formal gardens, it is now the Golf Club House. The wider area, including Croxley Green, Moor Park, Batchworth, Mill End, West Hyde and Chorleywood, formed the original parish of Rickmansworth.

In 1851, the population had grown to 4,800, and the parish became divided. St Mary's Church serves the parish concentrated in the town and extending to Batchworth and parts of Moor Park. The town had population of 14,571 according to the 2001 census.

The three rivers, the Colne, Chess and Gade, provided water for the now redundant watercress trade. They also provided power for corn milling, silk weaving, paper making and brewing, like the watercress trade, these are also long forgotten industries in the area. Other industries around Rickmansworth have included leather tanning, soft drinks manufacturing, soya processing, laundry, straw plaiting and stocking production. Now there are commercial offices and commuter homes, and the rivers, canal and flooded gravel pits are use predominantly for local recreation such as sailing and fishing.

West Mill, a water mill, existed at the time of the Domesday Survey. It was leased to the abbot and convent of St Albans by Ralph Bukberd for a number of years ending in 1539. In 1533, they leased it from the end of this term for twenty six years to Richard Wilson of Watford. The mill was leased in 1544 to William Hutchinson, yeoman of the spicery, and Janet his wife for the entirety of their lives. There was also a water mill known as Batchworth Mill, and a fishery called Blacketts Mill in Rickmansworth. Batchworth Mill was later used as a cotton mill, but was bought in 1820 and converted into paper mills, the place is now the site of Affinity Water. Scotsbridge Mill was also productive but now is home to a restaurant with the unusual feature of a river and waterfall running through it. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many of the inhabitants were described as 'clothiers,' which would indicate that cloth was at one time manufactured in the parish, but this industry has long since ceased. In the early 1800's, there were also silk and flock mills here.

There was a long running dispute over water levels in the Batchford area, following construction of the Grand Junction Canal, which were resolved in 1825, when an obelisk that stood over 8 feet tall was erected in a pond to act as a water gauge. The obelisk records the agreement made between the canal company, John Dickinson who was the miller at Batchworth Mill, and R. Williams of Moor Park, who was the landowner at the time.

What Ansell Chimneys do when they visit your Rickmansworth home?

  • We usually require about half an hour per chimney to do a proper sweep.
  • It is important that the area in front of the fire is cleared so we have no furniture in the way to hinder access to the fireplace and it protects your valuables too. An area of about 6 square feet should be adequate.
  • On certain properties, the chimney may be swept through an external hatch in the chimney breast. Although these are great from our point of view for access, we will still need to come into your home to ensure that no debris from the sweeping process has fallen into the fireplace or any soot has fallen into the room, causing a mess.
  • With the use of dust sheets over the fireplace, we effectively seal off the area as an extra barrier against chimney debris getting into the room. However, if soft furnishings or delicate objects are close to the fireplace, we ask that you cover these or remove them just to make sure they are safe.
  • You will not be required to cover all the furniture and surfaces in the room where the fireplace is, unless you really want to.
  • All we really need is somewhere close by to plug in our powerful vacuum cleaner. We can then commence the sweeping process with our brushes, rods and the vacuum to remove the soot and any other debris that is dislodged.
  • Ansell Chimneys will leave your room, fireplace and chimney clean and safe to use once again.

Call Ansell Chimneys out to Rickmansworth when it's convenient for you

To be certain of a safely operating chimney, you should have them swept about once a year. The most sensible time to have your chimney swept is during the warmer months, as you are unlikely to be using the fire. Like so many things that happen annually, it's all too easy to forget to book them in time, so to get around this problem Ansell Chimneys offer a useful reminder service and will give you a call annually or bi-annually, the choice is yours.

Ansell Chimneys keep your Rickmansworth home clean and dust free

Most people think that chimney sweeping is one of the dirtiest procedures around, but the method Ansell Chimneys use means that very little soot, dust or debris will find its way into your living space. We offer a very clean service so you can keep your Rickmansworth home clean.

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

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 Rickmansworth is not far from our head office, jobs here will not attract a higher quote.

Birds nests and blockage removal in Rickmansworth

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 Rickmansworth 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 Rickmansworth 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.

Bird cages, caps and cowls fitted in Rickmansworth

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 Rickmansworth 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 Rickmansworth 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, Rickmansworth 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.

Smoke tests

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 Rickmansworth 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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St Albans

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