Gateway to the Chateau D’Oiron…Final assembly

We recently blogged about the beautiful <<16th Century gates>> we’ve been working on for a private residence in Wiltshire. As promised, here’s the next instalment….

Clamping the gate

So having spent many weeks forging component parts for all aspects of the gates, it was time for final preparation and assembly. After all the components had been methodically adjusted to ensure a precise fit within the gate frame sections, the big moment had arrived…

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Clamped gate with tenon being forged

Having made all the intricate adjustments and ensuring that all the tenons fitted tightly, riveting of the outer frame could commence. To do this precisely and safely (bearing in mind each gate weighed approx. 450kg),  each gate was clamped in several places to ensure that there was no movement when the tenons were forged shut.

Once all the tenons and mechanical joints had been made good, each gate could be moved – no mean feat – requiring a block and tackle to lift each gate from the bench ahead of transportation…

 

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Tenon being heated prior to riveting

 

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Lifting 450+kg of gate

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Railing restoration at the Assembly Rooms

These top hat finial railings are situated outside the National Trust’s Assembly Rooms in the centre of Bath and date back to 1771 the year the Assembly rooms were completed. We were tasked with making sympathetic repairs to the railings after they were damaged by vandals who trying to steal the lead sheeting off the roof. (And yes.. they were caught red-handed by the overnight security guard and the Police!)

Martin and Alan carried out the repairs on site, some of the finials had decayed and some were fractured upon impact.  It was obvious that there had been some previous repairs carried out as there are some mild steel replacement finials (probably done in the 1980’s) which were lacking in refinement. The team repaired seven railing finials in total. The original leaves were all salvaged and reused, Martin and Alan carefully brazed to fill the holes and damaged sections. The new versions were cut off and replaced with more delicate versions!

An interesting project in a very prestigious location – and satisfying to know that Ironart had a role to play in the history of the Assembly room railings.

 

 

Restoration of the gates at Burwalls House, Clifton

We are delighted to have been commissioned to restore the lovely main gates and other ironwork from historic Burwalls House in Bristol.

Burwalls Estate is located in Leigh Woods, a residential suburb lying approximately 2.5 miles west of the city and overlooking Bristol’s iconic landmark Clifton Suspension bridge. The estate comprises of a Grade II listed Jacobean baronial style house built in 1872 by Joseph Leech a local entrepreneur and owner of the Bristol Times and Mirror, alongside a range of annexe buildings and a detached lodge.

Burwalls was requisitioned by the War Office in 1939 and used as the HQ of the Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, before being purchased by the University of Bristol in 1948.

Here are some pics of the gates arriving earlier this week – more news on this when we start work on them.

 

 

Restoration of gate, panels and overthrow at St Mary Tory, Bradford on Avon

This historic gate, overthrow and side panels belong to the St Mary Tory chapel in Bradford on Avon and date back to the early 1800’s. This painstaking and detailed work was carried out by Ironart’s restoration specialist Martin Smith alongside Nadfas conservation intern Cecilie Robinson.

Earlier this week we finished reinstalling the gates which look wonderful next to all the refurbished stonework. These pictures tell the story of the whole project from start to finish.

Railing restoration – Rivers Street, Bath

The team at Ironart were commissioned to restore a single gate and railings on a Georgian town house in Rivers Street, Bath. Among those working on this project was Nadfas Restoration Intern Cecilie Robinson.

The stone railing base needed replacing, the original wrought ironwork dated back to c.1770 when the houses on Rivers Street were built. The uprights had wasted and needed a section of additional puddled wrought iron fire welding onto the ends to lengthen them. We’ve uploaded a short video of this being done in our workshops in Larkhall.

If you have a listed property with historic ironwork that is in need of restoration or repair, we specialise in traditional metalworking techniques so please get in touch.

Unusual railings at Chalford, Stroud

We often repair railings after cars and vans have collided with them, and here’s a good example. We made repairs to a set of lovely and unusual railings in Chalford, near Stroud a few weeks ago. These railings are cast iron and of high quality, sadly they had been damaged by a large vehicle. One whole section of railings had snapped off just above the lead collars, the top strap had broken off and so had the forged and cast finials.

The restoration team, headed up by Martin Smith carried out the works, pictured here is Cecilie Robinson (our NADFAS grant student) who is understudying Martin at the moment. This one proved to be a real head-scratcher, with Martin and Cecilie working out the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle in the workshop!

If you would like to talk to us about the restoration and repair of wrought iron or cast iron railings, please get in touch, we’re happy to give advice and guide you in the right direction.