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British Industrial History

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Taylor and Bodley

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2016. Long run of railings in Cowley Bridge Road, Exeter.
2016. (Detail). Long run of railings in Cowley Bridge Road, Exeter.
2017 Lamp post on Barbican Steps.
2017 Lamp post on Barbican Steps (detail).

Ironfounders of Commercial Road, Exeter.

Members of the Bodley family ran iron foundry and engineering businesses in Exeter over a period of 177 years. An excellent account is available on-line. [1]

1866 C. M. Taylor takes Alfred Bodley into partnership.[2]

1866 Northam’s Foundry .. Gentlemen, I TAKE the present opportunity of thanking you for the confidence and liberal support received during the past nine years, and beg to inform you that I have taken Mr. ALFRED BODLEY, Engineer, of this City, into Partnership. I have therefore great pleasure in asking a continuance of your kind support on behalf of the new Firm, and assure you every attention will be paid to secure it. I remain your obedient servant, C. M. TAYLOR. Exeter, May 1st, 1866. '[3]

1872 WANTED, a well-educated Youth for the OFFICE—AppIy, in own handwriting, Taylor and Bodley, Commercial-road.[4]

1881 HUXHAM PAPER MILLS. To be LET, these desirable MILLS, with the machinery therein. Apply, Taylor and Bodley, Engineers, Exeter. [5]

1897 Bodley retires and Alan Barcham Green joins

1901 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Christopher Mardon Taylor and Alan Barcham Green, trading under the style or firm of "Taylor and Bodley," at Northam's Foundry, Commercial-road, Exeter, as Ironfounders, Engineers, and Millwrights, has been dissolved by mutual consent as and from the first day of January, 1900. All debts due to and from the firm will be received and paid by the said Alan Barcham Green, who will henceforth carry on the business for his own benefit, under the style of "Taylor and Bodley."'[6]

1926 Mentioned.[7]


Exwick. Alfred Bodley of Taylor & Bodley. Northam’s Foundry, designed a new ‘Bodley’ waterwheel in 1887. 18ft 8in by 16ft and a cross between an undershot waterwheel and an inward-flow turbine. It was installed to power W R Mallett’s roller plant at Exwick Mill. See The Miller 4 July 1887. The roller mill was erected by Henry Simon of Manchester, the leading manufacturer of roller plant in the UK. Theoretical horsepower 11.5. ‘By a calculation by Mr Alfred Bodley it was found that the waterwheel would consume in friction, revolving on its bearings at 14.5 revs per minute – equal to 3.57hp .. the output of the mill was at that time about 50 sacks of 280 lbs each in 12 working hours .. the water wheel was built and erected by Messrs Taylor and Bodley, the well-known engineers of Exeter ..’

Exeter. Lower Cricklepit Mill (outside waterwheel). ‘Low-breastshot/undershot wheel, 19ft (5.79m) overall diameter by 4ft 3in (1.3m) wide, with 40 deep, cranked, timber floats, each made of three Douglas fir boards (The original floats were of elm). Each side frame is cast in two halves which are bolted together along one pair of arms. Wheel named and dated TAYLOR & BODLEY 1895. This wheel drove a large-diameter spur gear, which originally had 148 oak cogs, all now removed, on its south side.’ Martin Watts July 2008.

Lower Mills, near the Quay, Exeter. SX919921. Undershot waterwheel by Taylor and Bodley on a site awaiting redevelopment in May 1997.

Luppitt, Devon. Luppitt Mill. SY172053. Roughly 16ft by 3ft, overshot. ‘Taylor and Bodley, Exeter’.

Broadclyst, Devon. Clyston Mill. Undershot waterwheel cast by Taylor and Bodley. 14ft 5in by 5ft 8in

Horsington, Somerset. Horsington Mill. ST 6990 2369. Overshot suspension-type waterwheel by Taylor and Bodley, 20ft by 3ft, shrouds cast in 1881.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Exeter Memories website, Bodley & Co. webpage, Written by David Cornforth and Anne Speight
  2. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 11 May 1866
  3. Western Times 22 May 1866 p 1
  4. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 16 May 1872 p 2 col 1
  5. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams - Thursday 3 March 1881
  6. The London Gazette Publication date:16 April 1901 Issue:27305 Page:2651
  7. Western Times - Friday 31 December 1926