Sir Goldsworthy Gurney & Bude Castle 30.7.15

The Beautiful ‘Bude Castle;!

Bude Castle is not a ‘castle’ as such, but a modest stately home situated in Bude – north Cornwall – that was once the home of Goldsworthy Gurney (1793-1875).  Goldsworthy Gurney was born in Padstow (Cornwall) and was something of a genius.  He was educated at Truro Grammar School, and despite not going to university, he apprenticed with a local medical doctor, learning how to be a general practitioner, and eventually inheriting the practice as a surgeon before he was 20 years old.  However, he longed to experience life in London – one of the most progressive cities in the world – and in 1820 he and his family relocated to the city.  He began to meet with, socialise with, and debate with the leading scholars of his day, where he had a chance to explain many of his scientific ideas.  His obvious genius led to him being elected a member of the Surrey Institute, and in 1822, he became a lecturer in chemistry and natural philosophy – subjects he must have thoroughly learned at school to a high degree.  This triggered his scientific insight and he is known for the following inventions; a) (1823) High Pressure Steam Jet – used to improve the functioning of steam engines, as well as ventilate mines sewers.  b) (1824) The Oxy-hydrogen Blow Pipe – which safely burnt explosive gases, and assisted the application of chemically produced heat during the manufacturing process.  c) (c. 1830’s) The Bude Light was a replacement for candles which produced light through the fusion of magnesia and lime.  The lit Bude Castle, and was later commissioned in London to light the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square (where an example can still be seen), and Pall Mall leading to Buckingham Palace.  This lighting system was also used in light-houses.  d)  (1863) the Gurney Stove was designed to warm and moisten the air.  It was used in Bude Castle, and later churches and public beings.  He was not only a pioneer of steam trains that ran on rails, but also of steam powered automobiles (in effect the first ‘cars’ in the world) that could run on public roads instead of rails  In 1863 Goldsworthy Gurney was knighted by Queen Victoria.

 Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (1793-1875) – the Magic of Cornwall

The ‘Bude Light’
Goldsworthy Gurney’s Technical Designs

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