Villager A

Overall Rating:

4.5 flames

based on 18 reviews    (View rating breakdown)
Villager A

The Villager A is a very high output model - with a 14-16kw output


is also available with either a smal boiler of 10.000btu or a biggeer built in boiler of 45.000btu in the AHI & ALI model -

not available as a flat top model.

This stove is a traditional wood burning model available with a low or high canopy.

Technical Data
  • Height: 595mm
  • Width: 699mm
  • Depth: 475mm
  • Flue Diameter: 150mm
  • Fuel: Wood burning

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Review Ratings Breakdown

Build Quality 4.5 flames
Quality of finish 4.5 flames
Value for money 4.5 flames
Ease of use 4.5 flames
Ease of lighting 4.5 flames
Firebox size 5 flames
How well does the airwash work 4 flames
Controllability 4 flames
Handle operation 4 flames
How likely are you to buy it again? 4.5 flames
What is your overall satisfaction? 4.5 flames

Most Recent Review

  • Caution

    Tim Knight 4 years ago

    I have had woodburning stoves for 40 years now and they are my only source of heat. Currently I have a Villager A (installed 10 years ago) burning only wood, and a Hunter with back boiler.
    The Villager is a good looking design with which, given its simplicity, you would expect little to go wrong. It is well constructed, with just an aspect letting it down. From the outset it has been impossible to control the heat. The single top mounted door latch is insufficient to keep the doors sealed at the bottom, and air leaks in. An increase in heat distorts the body of the stove and the gap becomes wider, allowing more air to enter starting a vicious circle that will have you opening the windows on the coldest day until the fuel is exhausted and the stove dies down again. I believe this model is no longer available, which is just as well. If contemplating one second hand you''d be advised to look elsewhere,fortunately I''ve not seen another type with such a hopeless method of keeping the door closed. I''ve spoken to two other owners who have encountered the same dangerous problem- the best way to avoid is to use only large pieces of wood and load little and often. I should add that I maintain the stove meticulously, burn only well seasoned wood, and have checked that there are no faults in the stove''s construction- I am a metal fabricator. I have a stainless insulated chimney with no wild variations in draught.

    Stove expert replied: These stoves are no longer available but were sold widely where a large heat output was required. There have been few problems of this nature that I am aware of. Perhaps tan excessive flue draw has been an issue that has led to the distortion.

    Overall rating:

    2.5 flames

Most Popular Review

  • Villager A Flat top stove

    David 15 years ago

    Bought this for our house in France that currently just has electric heating... I wanted just a wood burner that had a flat top so we could use it for cooking as well. Spent hours doing
    research and found that most people seemed to think that the Villager A series are a reasonable range of stoves. No specific review though so I hope this helps anyone looking at these. Firstly, we did not want a stove that was multi-fuel as our house is in the Dordogne and wood (oak, mainly) is plentiful and relatively cheap thus keeping the price down. It can be converted to multi-fuel if required. Secondly, this is a holiday home so we use it for probably only four to six weeks of the year in the winter. A back boiler was not an option as the cost of installation would have been out of all proportion to the use. Last of all I wanted to use the stove as a cooker as well. You just can't beat the feeling of seemingly getting something for nothing! We bought the stove in the UK as the prices in France were nearly 70% more expensive (for the Villager). I also bought the enamelled flue pipe in the UK and wished I hadn't because they were far cheaper in France. After installation, the first lighting produced the usual "curing" smell, which didn't last long. The difference in the temperature of the room was amazing. The "output" of the stove is rated at 14-16Kw and we were using this to heat a room 8 metres x 5 metres with an open plane staircase at one end. We didn't need to have the stove "roaring" to achieve this. The electric radiators needed to be on full to notice any difference in the temperature (and a huge hole in the wallet!). Eat your heart out EDF! Bear in mind that the stove was installed in the fireplace and the chimney was now blocked off with the "register" plate so the escape of warm air up the chimney was stopped. Lighting was a doddle as seasoned kindling (dry) was used along with newspaper and cardboard. No firelighters were used apart from a match or two! 500mm oak logs are relatively easy to use as long as you angle them as they go in. Controllability was pretty impressive as not only do you have top and bottom vents for the air wash and primary/secondary combustion but you can tighten them all up by screwing them in making them more airtight. It is worthwhile noting that we also took a flue thermometer with us that sits on the flue pipe, attached by a magnet. It didn't take long to work out how to keep it running at optimum temperature with one of these. I tried twice to do an overnight burn succeeding only once. Came to the conclusion that as it was so easy to light, why bother? You will be burning fuel when tucked up in bed! The air wash system worked well. Having tried the "overnighter", the glass was pretty filthy in the morning but when the bottom and top vents were open it soon cleared once the fire was going. My only criticism of the stove is that the feet are not height adjustable so it can rock on an uneven surface. All in all, I would rate this excellent value for money. It is well made from a good thick gauge of steel plate with cast iron doors. Parts are also plentiful even in France. If you are getting one for over there then buy the pipe and flue locally as it is much cheaper. I haven't had a chance to try the cooking facility, but will let you know how we get on when we do...next February or so. I hope that helps anyone considering one of these.
    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

More reviews for Villager A (page 1 of 2)

  • Villager

    PatandPaul Penter 9 years ago

    We purchased this stove on the internet understanding there was no guarantee. It has been fitted now for 4 months and to say we are disappointed is an understatement. The stove is situated in
    the lounge (19x12)and we have absolutely no heat whatsoever from fire. Water gets to warm temperature and radiators upstairs also barely warm. We have used coal and logs but still get no heat, we are now having to live in a smaller room using electric heaters. We have tried everything we can think of including closing the damper, but still no luck. Would anyone have any ideas as to what could be the problem, thank you Pat and Paul
    Overall rating:

    2 flames

  • Outstanding performer

    Dan Connolly 10 years ago

    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • Aled Thomas 11 years ago

    Excellent stove. Can fit a large amount of wood in and leave to burn slowly over night and able to relight in the morning. One problem is that the fire cord around the door is too thin and
    let a draft into the fire whilst the doors were closed. Replaced this cheaply enough for a thicker cord and problem sorted.

    Stove expert replied: The fire rope used will not only depend on the diameter but the density of it and perhaps all that was needed was adjusting of the doors before rope replacement. You can tell if the rope requires replacing if it has become flat and seated and there is no spring left in it when you press it.

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Good stove.

    Bob Payne 11 years ago

    My first stove and was in the house when we moved in. I would definitely buy another in future. Heats up most of the house when running at full blast. Burns very clean.
    Overall rating:

    4 flames

  • Forget the Rest This is The Best

    Douglas Broughton 11 years ago

    I have no problems with this stove. Would buy another without looking elsewhere
    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • Villager A exported to France

    Peter Parkes 11 years ago

    We bought our stove in 2012 to use with a new double insulated stainless steel chimney in our house here in France.It is installed in our dining room where we have an open stairwell. As a result
    , it very efficiently heats the room and the whole of the upstairs.Overall, we are delighted with the performance of this stove and, having our own supply of wood, it has significantly reduced our heating costs. It will stay in all night with a sufficiently substantial 'night log'. The slight down-side is that the dribble of air needed to achieve this does rather nullify the airwash capability. We did buy the optional flue damper and this is a great help in controlling the fire because the long S/S chimney does have quite a strong draw on it.

    Stove expert replied: Overnight slow burn can cause problems in a flue system, regular short burst of fast burn should be undertaken as well as regular sweeping to remove debris that is produced when slow burning.

    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • this stove is hot

    Andy Hunt 11 years ago

    Heats up our kitchen diner a treat (25'x14'). Very easy to maintain which I do in the summer. Good access to all parts although if replacing the Glass gaskets you will need to soak the retaining
    nuts in releasing oil for a couple of days, however it has had 20 years of regular use before this was necessary. Probably the best buy we made after the house. Not only would I recommend it, I have often, and several friends now swear by them especially as normal fuel cost are rising.

    Stove expert replied: Great review and very good service if no replacement gaskets required in 20years. Releasing oil is a useful thing when moveable parts need attention in a stove and if it can be left usually does the trick enabling nuts, screws ect to be removed successfully.

    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • Forget the others, get one of these.

    K Toogood 11 years ago

    This is the best stove we have ever owned; and we've had a few!The firebox is huge, you can really stack the logs in. It is a thick steel box with airvents and a few firebricks. Ours has lasted
    for 15 years now and all I have replaced is one firerope round the door. It burns constantly from September through til April without fault.In the same 15 years I have had 4 different 'quality' stoves ( Aarrow, warmsler, parkray and Hunter) elsewhere in the house that have burned up or fallen to pieces under the same use. The Villager cost us about £500 back then but the other stoves have cost over £5000 in the same time period.If you fit the optional grate you can burn solid fuel, the bars don't warp or break as they aren't those silly riddling ones that jam. You actually have to de ash the grate by poking at it with a poker! Nothing technical there. Is a bit fiddly getting the ashpan out to empty it but hey, if you wanted a multifuel with separate door, they do those too.I am about to chuck out my 2 year old knackered Hunter and refit with another Villager, however I have contacted the new company as I am unsure as to whether the quality is still the same as 15 years ago!If you want a basic, reliable, continuous use stove, go for this. It might not be fancy or have a riddler; get a poker. It might not be the most controllable compared to these modern designs but it does what it was built for. Burns wood in a steel box.

    Stove expert replied: I would expect that the seals require changing to insure they are sealing well as the rope used gets compressed over time. Otherwise this seems to have been a great buy and well worth the money!

    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • Good investment

    John Halstead 11 years ago

    Whilst renovating our house I talked to a number of stove suppliers and most said "don't get a big one, you'll be too hot". Our sitting room is only 68 cubic metres but I went against that advice
    and I'm pleased I did. Tales of the room getting too hot are nonsense, the stove, although max output is 14kw, is very controllable and coming in on a cold day after a weekend away, we can have a roaring fire and bags of heat in minutes. Another advantage of a big burner is that ones's logs don't have to be cut up so small, therefore less work.I wanted a steel fabricated burner because cast ones can crack, my wife and I liked the look of the Villagers, we bought ours 13 years ago and it has done everything asked of it.I keep logs for two years in the open, but covered up in the winter and use them in rotation, they burn beautifully. There's a lot to be said for a crackling fire, a good book and a glass of something nice at your elbow.Two pieces of advice: If you're thinking of a woodburning stove, don't hesitate, get one and go for the biggest that looks right in your room.As part of my next renovation project I'm going to fit a big Villager.

    Stove expert replied: A larger stove than is required can make a room uncomfortable so discuss actual requirements before buying as it is an expensive and uncomfortable mistake to make, being too hot is worse than being cold!!

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

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