Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Alfred Bodley

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Bodley waterwheel at Strand Mill, Dawlish

of Old Quay Foundry & Engine Works, Exeter

The Bodley family ran foundries in Exeter. One of these operated under the name of Alfred Bodley. In 1859 they were ironfounders and makers of various items of equipment including stationary steam engines and boilers. [1]

1857 Advertising as 'Manufacturer of high pressure, fixed, portable, condensing, pumping,and donkey, steam engines, boilers and fittings, millwrights’ work and machinery of all kinds, pumps, cranes, crabbs, iron and brass castings, lathes, slide rests, planing, drilling, and punching machines, water wheels, bark mills, hydraulic and other presses, grinding mills, &c. Flour, saw and bone mills on most approved principles. An assortment of above 1,000 wheel patterns, in spur, bevil, mitre and mortis gear.' [2]. The advert included an engraving of a twin-flue boiler and a steam engine having a vertical 'bottle' or column frame, at the top of which was pivoted an oscillating engine cylinder

1858 Advertising as an ironfounder and engineer. Illustration showed a 'village pump' and a screw jack. [3]

1864 Made a water wheel for Burcott flour mill in Somerset. The wheel can still be seen in operation

1866 C. M. Taylor takes Alfred Bodley in to partnership at Northams Foundry.[4]

1870s? Made a large water wheel for Strand Mill, Dawlish

Existing Waterwheels

  • Burcott Mill, Wells, Somerset. ST 521455. 12ft internal overshot ‘Alfred Bodley Founder Exeter 1864’.
  • Torbay Mills, Brunswick Place, Dawlish, Devon. SX 962766. 30ft by 3ft iron overshot. With ring gear and pinions. By A. Bodley of Exeter. The wheel may date from 1860, in which case it was rather advanced for its time, employing collars and split pins on the shrouds, to hold the unusual 11 pairs of arms in place. It was at work in 1931 and has been restored, though not working, in recent years.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Exeter Memories website
  2. Western Times,28 February 1857
  3. Western Times, 23rd January 1858
  4. Western Times - Tuesday 08 May 1866