Lacock Abbey has many claims to fame since being founded as a convent in the 13th Century, with its cloisters being featured in the Harry Potter films and perhaps more significantly as the home of the father of photography, William Fox Talbot. Although Fox Talbot is renowned for invention of the photographic process, he was also an enthusiastic botanist which is reflected in the development of the gardens at Lacock.
In common with many historic buildings the abbey and its gardens are now run by the National Trust and the maintenance of such a significant property throws up some interesting challenges. For instance some time ago, Ken Bayliss was approached by the head gardener of Lacock Abbey, to use his experience of greenhouse autovents, to design and manufacture an operating system for a Victorian lean-to greenhouse.
The windows in the greenhouse were unusual in that they slid between the glazing bars of the inclined roof, moving away from the ridge when opening. The operation designed and developed by Ken uses a pulley and weights system so that the piston of the wax filled operating cylinder lifts a counterbalance weight as the temperature increases. This allows the vents to slide down between the glazing bars under their own weight. As the temperature falls, the counterbalance weight pulls the vent back up to the ridge.
Development of the custom greenhouse autovent
The prototype was installed during 2009, with the operating system made entirely by Bayliss Autovents. A further quantity have been fitted with the operating cylinders supplied by Bayliss Autovents for use with pulleys and weights etc obtained locally by the National Trust. The greenhouse in the Abbey gardens has been fully restored and is now open to the public along with the Abbey.
So successful was this unique greenhouse autovet that the Trust have produced a poster acknowledging Ken Bayliss’ s design work, showing how the vents actually function and this can be seen in Lacock Abbey greenhouse alongside the units.
All Bayliss greenhouse autovents benefit from a similar level of engineering excellence and innovation to be sure you keep your greenhouse at the right temperature.