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The safety of commercial shipping and safeguarding of seafarers have been the primary concerns of London’s historic charity, Trinity House, since being incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514. Located in Tower Hill, the Grade I listed headquarters and working home was built in the years 1794-96 by Samuel Wyatt, Surveyor to the Corporation.

A German bomb lodged in the roof of the stairwell gutted the building in 1940, leaving only the Trinity Square façade intact. Within the rubble lay two original fireplace grates that had been rendered unusable by the lack of chimneys.

After being meticulously refurbished and redecorated in March 1990, Trinity House caretakers wanted to revive the historic fireplaces, using modern methods to return them to their former glory.

“Before the renovation the fireplaces were technically in fine condition but we felt it was a waste of a potential source of heat and added ambience that they were inoperable,” says Trinity House events manager Edgar King.

“As well as restoring the façade of the fireplaces, the venue now has an extra heating source that can be easily regulated. The fires have created a cosy ambiance for both daytime and evening events and the fact that this heating source is environmentally friendly is an added bonus.”

Edgar King, Trinity House events manager

EcoSmart Fire’s XL500 Burner was selected for the spacious Court Room while its VB2 Burner was chosen for the smaller Luncheon Room. EcoSmart’s customised Glass Fire Screens were then installed to safeguard the flame from internal breezes and provide an extra layer of safety and comfort.

Fuelled entirely by bioethanol, a renewable liquid fuel produced from agricultural by-products, EcoSmart Fire was the perfect solution for an historic building filled with commissioned furnishings and priceless maritime memorabilia.

“It’s projects like this that EcoSmart Fire really comes into its own,” says Paul Holt from Smart Fire UK. “Just because a chimney has been removed or a flue has been blocked up doesn’t mean you have to board up a beautiful fireplace.

“These versatile products are perfect for restorations like this. They create the look and feel of a real fire without the soot, ash and cleaning that’s associated with them. The restored fireplaces are magnificent and have once again become a focal point within the venue.”


  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Client: Trinity House