Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wood Burning Logs and Seasoned Hardwood Logs – Big K’s Guide to the History of Fireplaces

Wood Burning Logs and Seasoned Hardwood Logs – Big K’s Guide to the History of Fireplaces

If you want to take full advantage of your fireplace in the winter months, for ultimate in convenience, Big K deliver a variety of winter fuel products such as seasoned hardwood logs and wood burning logs, straight to your door.

The fireplace has evolved a long way since early humans used to gather round a fire pit to keep warm, ward off predators and cook food. Nowadays, fireplaces are no longer a living essential but they add atmosphere and beauty to your home and there are many stylish contemporary fireplaces available.

Not only have fireplaces changed, but winter fuel products have evolved greatly too. There are a good range of winter fuels on the market that are efficient, easy to light, easy to store and provide instant warmth.

If you are looking to make the most of your fireplace this winter, we supply a wide selection of winter fuel products, including wood burning logs and seasoned hardwood logs, which we will describe in more detail below.

Meanwhile, if you are thinking of stocking up on seasoned hardwood logs and wood burning logs, here is Big K’s brief guide on the history of fireplaces.

Seasoned Hardwood Logs - click here to view our range of products

A Brief Guide to the History of Fireplaces

In ancient times open fire pits were a vital part of living and, as well as being used out in the open air, they were used in all types of living quarters in every part the globe, from caves to mud huts.

Gradually chimneys were introduced for safety reasons: to prevent the inhalation of toxic smoke filling the enclosed spaces. There is no way of knowing exactly when the chimney was introduced, but it would have evolved in various ways across the globe; teepees used by Nomadic tribes in North America, for example, were constructed with an opening at the top to let the air through.

12th Century

In Europe, some of the grander dwellings had a great hall which was warmed from an open hearth. From the later part of the 12th century onwards, chimneys began to be introduced for the first time although these were mainly used in the kitchens of some of the more prestigious properties.

16th Century

As a second floor was introduced in the home, people needed fireplaces to warm the various rooms: such as nurseries, bedrooms and servants quarters. For the first time moves were made to study the design of chimneys so fireplaces could be used upstairs.

17th Century

Fireplaces had become an important feature of the home and many houses were built around a central chimney stack which often served as the main structural support for the house. Thanks to Christopher Wren, who re-designed St Pauls Cathedral, fireplaces began to be designed to be in keeping with a property.

By the late 17th century, Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of Charles I made fireplaces more efficient by lifting the grate, which improved air flow and ventilation and helped produce more heat.

18th Century

More improvements were made to improve the efficiency of fireplaces and to draw smoke out of the building. American Benjamin Franklin introduced the Franklin stove that spread heat more evenly throughout the room.

Other inventions included US born Benjamin Thompson’s introduction of tall, shallow fireboxes which allowed smoke to escape more easily – a design which became the foundation of all modern fireplaces.

19th Century

In the Victorian era, fireplaces became more than just a way of heating the home as they also provided ambiance – giving rise to romantic images of Victorian families gathering round the fireplace at Christmas time.

The design of the fireplace changed too as the Victorian era saw the introduction of surrounds made of wood, marble, granite or stone, and inserts made out of cast iron with decorative tiles. Smaller grates were also used during the Victorian period and these made fireplaces more efficient.

20th Century

The introduction of central heating and gas fires in the early to middle 20th century meant fireplaces were no longer a living essential and many fireplace were either ripped out or covered up as being unnecessary or old fashioned – often to be reinstated in the end of the century when the fashion for period property renovation took off. Where they were retained or reinstated, this was often to provide ambience or to provide an impressive focal point for a room. The fireplace became an architectural feature of the home and many new and innovative designs emerged in the 20th century.

This century saw the introduction of the Clean Air Act to control smoke emissions in certain parts of the UK. It meant that for some householders, smokeless fuel was the only option to use on open fireplaces and stoves.

Whatever type of fireplace you have, Big K provide a range of winter fuel solutions including smokeless coal, wood burning logs and seasoned hardwood logs to suit fireplaces and wood burning stoves in smoke free and non smoke free zones.

Wood Burning Logs and Seasoned Hardwood Logs

If you are stocking up on wood burning logs and seasoned hardwood logs this winter, these products can only be burned in smoke free zones in an appliance approved for burning logs in smoke free zones.

However, there are a wide range of winter fuel products available and the selection of wood burning logs and seasoned hardwood logs sold by Big K include: Premium Kiln Dry Hardwood Logs (FSC certified), Seasoned Hardwood Logs (FSC certified), Instant Firelighting Firelog (to create instant heat and hassle free fires), Wood Fuel Briquettes, Big Flame Heat Logs (FSC certified) and Starter Packs for open fires and wood burning stoves.

Wood Burning Logs - click here to view our range of products.

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