Lower Lodge Gateway, Ashton Court

The Lower Lodge Gateway (or Gatehouse) was once the main entrance to impressive Ashton Court in Bristol. Built in c. 1805 it was constructed at its location to allow a picturesque carriage drive from the City of Bristol to Ashton Court’s main west front.

Having been in a state of dilapidation for some time, the Lower Lodge gates are now part of a £1m Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust Project which will see the restoration and conversion of the building into the Bower Ashton Gateway Centre, a community hub and learning centre to be managed by Ashton Park School.

For us at Ironart, restoring these gates has been another fantastic project to be involved in…and not without its challenges!

Due to logistical issues, the 15ft x 15ft double gates set within the gatehouse itself couldn’t be moved so the team was required to restore them in situ – a very restricted space. Made of wrought iron in c. 1875 we think the gates were originally transported to the site in sections for assembly.

Martin Smith of Ironart said:

“Over the years the gates have suffered quite severe damage including vehicle damage. The right hand leaf looking out on to the road was seriously distorted and the level of rust-jacking to the overall structure was widespread. This was particularly noticeable on the finial cresting which was also severely bent, with cracks clearly visible on the left side. The top and bottom rails were also in poor condition. The lock boxes were severely corroded and broken; the springs were snapped and internals bent, again probably due to vehicle damage. The drop bolt and keep were in need of repair as the keep was no longer retaining the bolt.”

Washing down the gates to remove the top layer of dirt enabled us to see the scale of the job. Rust-removal was the next key stage which once completed, was followed by wire-brushing back to the clean surface.

In terms of the individual elements, the broken lock box was sent to Keith Carrier & Son of Birmingham, for repair. New lock box cover plates were made at Ironart’s Larkhall workshop and the keep boxes repaired retaining  as much of the original material as possible.

The drop bolt once removed was brought back to the workshop to be straightened and a new tension-spring made and fitted.

The finial cresting of spears and sweeps was removed from the top bar and brought back to the workshop for the rust-jacking to be removed. Each spear, sweep and ring detail was individually and carefully cleaned out and filled where needed. Repairs were also made to the bottom rail.

Once primed, the gates were undercoated and top-coated in a dark grey paint. A beautiful pair of 19th Century gates restored and ready for the next chapter in their story…

Lower Lodge Gates

Original condition of gates

 

Original condition of lockbox

Original condition of lockbox

Rust-jacking in between ring detail and missing buns

Rust-jacking in between ring detail and missing buns

Lower Lodge Gates

Rust-jacking on bottom bar

Original condition of dropbolt

Original condition of dropbolt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restored lockbox by Keith Carrier & Son

Restored lockbox by Keith Carrier & Son

 

Spear and sweep finial cresting original condition; gapping visible to top right

Spear and sweep finial cresting original condition; gapping visible to top right

Individually cleaning out the ring detail

Individually cleaning out the ring detail

Finial cresting re-fitted

Finial cresting re-fitted

Painting the gates

Painting the gates

 

Ironart fruit cages in Gardens Illustrated magazine

Ironart are featured in Gardens Illustrated magazine this month. The magazine’s July issue which went on sale last Friday – includes a design sourcebook editorial page on “Fruit cages: made-t0-measure garden solutions to protect your fruit and vegetables”. The editors picked up on a gothic fruit and vegetable cage we made for talented Garden Designer Marion Mako, which graces a beautiful garden near Colerne on the edge of Bath. Here’s a link to that particular gothic bespoke fruit cage on our website. If you grow fruit and vegetables, have a  problem with birds and would like an elegant solution to the problem.. please get in touch.

Fruit cage design by Marion Mako Gardens  www.makogardens.co.uk   01453 872 041 
 
Gardens Illustrated - July 2015

An unusual, contemporary balustrade in Bristol

This 17m run of balustrading in Bristol was designed to meet a specific brief – our clients wanted a  contemporary design but one which incorporated traditional metalworking techniques. The design they went for was a real departure from anything we’ve made before, and looks fantastic.

Jason Balchin, Dom West and the Ironart team tapered the square bar support posts to create a 5mm thick wrap detail. They also hot punched two holes in each stem for the 16mm balustrade rails to pass through. The round-section infill bars were also hot forged into conical tapers which were then wrapped around the horizontal bars at the top and the bottom of the railings.  The 42mm diameter handrail was a lovely solid round section. These pics show Jason at work forging the component parts for this unusual project. This contemporary balustrade was then galvanized to weather proof it before being painted here in our workshop spray booth by Dean.

If you like this style of railing/balustrade and would like to talk to us about commissioning a similar piece of work, please get in touch.

 

 

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.

 

 

Come and work for Ironart!

We are urgently seeking an experienced full time ornamental ironworker to join the core team here at Ironart. Please see job advert attached here.

If you are interested in finding out more about this position, please get in touch with us on 01225 311 273 or email ironart@ironart.co.uk

Ironart Job Advert - Nov 2014

One-day blacksmithing courses at Ironart

Cecilie forging

Have you ever wanted to have a go at making something in a forge? Well…. now is your chance!

The Ironart team are running one-day ‘Introduction to Blacksmithing’ courses here in our Larkhall workshop on the outskirts of beautiful Georgian Bath. These one-day courses are aimed at the complete beginner and will be tutored by two of Ironart’s experienced artist blacksmiths Jason Balchin and Martin Smith. Choose from a selection of items to make and take home. We’ll supply you with all safety equipment, tools and materials, a steady flow of tea and coffee, and hot bacon sandwiches to keep you going!

The following one-day courses run from 8am – 2pm and cost £80 per person. Please note that space is limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

Saturday 28th June – fully booked!
Saturday 12th July
Saturday 19th July
Saturday 26th July

We are sorry to say that due to boring insurance restrictions you will need to be aged 18+

Email ironart@ironart.co.uk or call us on 01225 311 273 to book your place.  (p.s. We can make suggestions for accommodation locally if needed.)

IMG_3591 IMG_3554

Bespoke staircase for Grade II listed mansion

We made and installed this balustrading for a simple, elegant winding staircase in a private grade II listed mansion on the edge of Bath. Here’s a pic of Jason working on site.  The wooden handrail was the perfect finishing touch to this project. If you would like some advice about a similar commission, please give us a call because we’d love to help. 01225 311 273

In the workshop today…18th July

Just a few snaps of the team hard at work in the intense heat we’ve been experiencing. Martin and Paul are pictured putting the finishing touches to the renewed leadwork detail on a pair of beautiful balconettes which we have been commissioned to restore for a listed property in Bath. Interestingly although they look very similar the two balconnettes are not identical – and one is older than the other.

Dom looking delighted to be doing his ‘maths homework’ on the handrail of a lovely decorative balustrade for a period property on the fringes of Bath.  James and Jason finishing off some simple panel railings while Jim is working on some hot forged scrolls for the same balustrade.

 

Restoration of a three seat Fern Coalbrookedale bench

Martin has just finished restoring this beautiful cast iron three seat Coalbrookedale bench.  Coincidentally we have had a two seat fern Coalbrookedale in for restoration at the same time (pics of that one to follow shortly)

If you are lucky enough to have (or think you have!) an antique cast iron bench sitting in your garden in a state of disrepair, they can be very valuable and it is worth looking at getting it restored. If you would like to talk to us about restoring cast iron benches please pick up the phone. In the first instance it’s useful to have some photographs to send through on an email too so we can make an initial appraisal, please visit the Contact Us page on our website for more info.

 

Three Seat Fern Coalbrookedale bench - before

 

Three seat Fern Coalbrookedale bench - After

The Wind Turbine Gates

And now for something completely different!

We recently made this unique pair of personalised gates for private clients in Long Ashton, near Bristol.

The design of the gates was based on wind turbines, something close to the hearts of the couple that commissioned them. The Ironart team comprising of Andy (design) Jim, Martin, Dean and Ted had great fun working on this project which was both challenging and rewarding in equal parts. All the turbine blades were made out of cast steel, the spinner and body sections were all made separately and threaded onto the bars. The personalised letters were laser cut and threaded onto the plates and the whole thing was galvanized before it was painted.

If you have a quirky or unusual idea in mind and would like to talk to us about commissioning something completely unique, we would be delighted to help, so please get in touch. 01225 311 273

The wind turbine gate installed

The wind turbine gate installed