ESSE was established in 1854 but our story actually starts even earlier…

ESSE is the UK’s longest-standing stove manufacturer, having been established way back in 1854.

This proud British company has a rich and interesting heritage which our onsite museum bears testament to; from a shipwreck in the Atlantic, to Florence Nightingale, James Bond and the famous range cookers and stoves we love so much today. The knowledge and skills gained over more than a century and a half go into everything we do, and ESSE range cookers and stoves are designed to last a lifetime.

Each one of our modern stoves can trace its ancestry back through the decades to ESSE’s original models. The selling points in the very first brochure still hold true today: “Great economy in point of fuel, great economy in point of cleanliness.”

June 4th 1816

On June 4th 1816 James Smith was born in Edinburgh. He was the second child and eldest son of James and Anna Smith. His father had been a shawl manufacturer in Paisley, but had moved to Edinburgh to set up a shawl merchants business there...
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1841

After completing his apprenticeship, James worked with a manufacturer in the metal work business in New Orleans before setting up on his own in State Street, Jackson Mississippi...
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In the beginning

So it was that in 1854 James returned to Scotland and made arrangements to set up a business making ESSE stoves. He returned to the States to hand over his old business to his younger brother, Robert A Smith, and his adventures began all over again...
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The start of ESSE's unique heritage

During the late 1800s James introduced his stoves and cookers to the wealthy Victorian market in Edinburgh...
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A unique client list

Florence Nightingale was passionate about ESSE cookers and would use no other brand at her hospital in Balaclava. Famous British explorers, Shackleton and Scott...
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1910

Early ESSE stoves were primarily designed for the burning of different types of coal. Circa 1910 the ESSE Pioneer Stove was an innovative wood burning stove. The design allowed smoke re-burning to take pace above the firebox before the waste...
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Warming hearts and homes

By the mid 1900s, ESSE stoves, fires and range cookers were warming all manor of households - from royalty to remote rural homesteads. The ESSE poster, circa 1950, captures the spirit of ESSE products.
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ESSE gets its 'premier' with Roger Moore

Smith & Wellstood was acquired by the Ashby family, who owned the Ouzledale Foundry Company in Barnoldswick, Lancashire...
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Award winning ways

Over the years, ESSE has introduced many new products to their range. 1999 saw the new 'Vista' win 'Best Oil/Gas Stove of the Year' at a major heating industry awards ceremony...
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A revolution in range cooking

ESSE continually develops innovative range cookers and stoves, and in 2000 launched the Electric ESSE, the ultimate combination of authentic range cooking and modern living convenience...
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New products, new trends and new markets

2002 saw the launch of a new range of stoves, including the revolutionary 500 Flueless gas stove...
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ESSE Plus 2

The Home building and Renovating show in March 2003 saw the preview of the new four oven ESSE. The 'Plus 2' model effectively doubled the cooking capability of any ESSE cooker and attracted lots of interest and significant forward orders...
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The award winning Ironheart

Launched in 2004, the Ironheart cooking stove was inspired by modern European influences for log burning cookers. Yet paradoxically, it revives some of the design principles...
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Firewall™ flueless gas wall heaters

We launched our stylish range of wall hung, flueless gas heaters in 2005. The 'Firewall' range has evolved since then...
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Introducing our carbon neutral Woodfired cooker

Launched in 2006, the Woodfired cooker is designed...
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350 convection stove

The latest model in the 300 series of convector stoves further illustrates our award-winning ways. It offers a larger output - up to 7kW/h - and like all 300 series models, enables...
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ESSE the cooker of choice at River Cottage

In 2008 ESSE became the cooker of choice at River Cottage HQ in Devon. Initially we installed an Ironheart as the sole...
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Contemporary stoves

The appeal of our woodburning stoves has continued to grow with the introduction of new contemporary styling options for our popular 100 and 500 models. The 125 and 525...
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ESSE 990

The ESSE 990 was introduced in 2011 and is our cleanest wood-fired cooker to date, further affirming our position as an industry leader. When assessing the emission levels, the testing house had to check their own equipment...
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'Plus' companion cookers & Gas Ironheart

'Plus' companion cookers to complement a main cooker are made available in wood, electric and gas enabling...
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