Merlin Engine 



In 2008 Cotesbach became home to a Rolls-Royce Merlin 724-1C engine, which was fired up successfully for the first time on 8th March 2009.


The Merlin is a liquid cooled 27 litre V12 piston aircraft engine with supercharger, designed and developed as a private venture by Rolls Royce (PV 12), first flown in 1935 and fitted to the Spitfires of Battle of Britain fame (designed by R.J. Mitchell) which were pivotal in the victory of World War II.

Widely considered to be among the most successful engines produced during World War II, Merlin engines were also used in, among other aircraft, Hurricanes, Wellingtons, Defiants, Lancasters, Halifaxes, Mustangs and Mosquitos.

It was acquired and lovingly restored by Tom Newton’s cousin, Francis Machin, architect and son of the sculptor Arnold Machin who produced the iconic image of The Queen’s head we know so well from the Royal Mail stamp. His mother, Patricia Newton, was an artist. The engine was kept at Francis’ home, Garmelow Manor, Staffordshire, but because his early death in 2007 resulted in the sale of that property, Tom has been appointed ‘Guardian of the Merlin’ until Francis’ children can accommodate it, as it is hoped to keep the engine in the family.


In 1941 a patent was registered by Fred Newton (Tom’s grandfather and Francis’s great uncle) of Newton Brothers, Derby, for a Carbon Pile Voltage Regulator.


​This key component of the engine enabled them to fly successfully at higher altitudes and thus gave them a strategic advantage over the opposition. Although Fred Newton's invention never attracted national recognition, rest assured that here in Cotesbach the Merlin will continue to celebrate his achievements, as it does every pilot and technical hand involved with this colossus of British engineering.

Next Merlin Firing - TBC



© 2020 by Cotesbach Estate
Photography: Dimastro Photography
Main Street, Cotesbach, Nr. Lutterworth, LE17 4HX
01455 552 697
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