Charnwood C series/Bembridge review

Charnwood C series/Bembridge review

The Charnwood C series is the "bread and butter" of the Charnwood stove company. And with good reason, they're well priced (relative to Charnwood fairly scary approach to pricing), they're smart, British made, well engineered and nice looking. They're also all designed as wood only appliances, you can opt for an optional multi-fuel grate, but that seems fairly out of date nowadays. They make a large number of options:

Charnwood C4 + C4 inset

Charnwood C5

Charnwood Bembridge (effectively a C5 with a different door)

Charnwood C6

Charnwood C7

Charnwood C8

They also make loads of other options:

Tall legs

Log stores

8 different colours

A flue boiler, which I'd love to try because I think it's awesome

Charnwood is an exclusive brand that commands high prices, but there is a feel to this brand which doesn't leave you feeling short changed. It's a company that makes all the signs for the London underground, posh modular kitchens, enamelled panels and it's still run and owned by the same Christian family that started it over 50 years ago. The stoves are actually deigned and made on the Isle of white and they don't feel like copies or re-creations of an already done thing, every time they create something its innovative, well thought out and better than the last.


Lighting the stove: 7/10

Lighting these stoves is easy, but they are heavy built so it does take some time to get everything hot and pumping out heat.


Cleanness: 8/10

Charnwood stoves are great at running clean, they're very into environmental issues and that is reflected in their designs and focus on showing off their green credentials. They're obviously also fully compliant with any and basically all legislation and special clean burning badges.


Controls & Controllability: 8/10

The C series as standard has a wooden handle which not only looks great, but stays cool and is just far more interesting than the usual lump of cast iron or bar of stainless steel. It also feels very nice and has a very satisfying clunk when opening and closing. The air control also feels nice, the only issue I have is that it slides in and out to open and close. This isn't normally an issue, but this particular one does look a little silly when the vent is fully pulled out as it sticks out beyond the door and ash lip and spoils the stoves clean lines. The affect of the air control however was good.


Fuel economy & Burn time: 6/10

This stove is focused on running clean and efficiently, but it is a hard balance to achieve that and also good fuel economy and burn time. The stove does perform well, but it doesn't dazzle. I did manage to keep the stove in over night, it burned for a reasonable time on a net of logs, and the heat output was also as expected. It didn't disappoint me, but it did give me anything extra either.


Who's it for:

Charnwood are desired by basically everyone who knows about them, and this one is no different. If you have the money and want something that is clean, smart, desirable and you plan to burn wood for mainly days and evenings then you will get on great. It's not ideal for serious 24/7 use, but anything less than that it will take to perfectly. It's also a stove that will hold its value and stand the test of time, I can well imagine that in 10 years time your stove will still look and work as it does today and I also think it will still be worth close to what you paid too.

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