Gateway to the Chateau D’Oiron…Trial Fit

With the gates meticulously assembled, they were now ready for transportation by trailer to the Wiltshire residence for which they had been made.

It’s fair to say there was a general air of nervous excitement…today was a big day and just days before Christmas.

Each gate was carefully lifted by crane and gently lowered onto the bronze bushes. The Ironart team of Andy, Jason and Alan watched with baited breath as each gate was set down…and to everyone’s great relief – after three months of hard work – the gates fitted beautifully! No adjustments needed.HDG 261215 014

Trial fit completed, it was back on the trailer for the gates to be thermal zinc sprayed ahead of painting.

More to follow so watch this space!Trial Fit 3

Gateway to the Chateau D’Oiron

Here at Ironart we are very fortunate to see and be involved in some amazing commissions, but once in a while the opportunity to be part of something very special comes our way.

Earlier this year we were asked if we could produce a pair of traditionally made gates for a private Wiltshire residence.Gough

Why so special? Because these were to be an exact replica of the main gates to the 16th Century Chateau D’Oiron located in Oiron, in the Deux-Sèvres department of Western France –the backdrop for Charles Perrault‘s fairy tale, Puss in Boots.

Chateau d'Oiron May 2015 084Beautifully crafted, highly ornate and standing 4-metres tall, with a 4-metre opening, the gates have been and continue to be (quite literally!) a big feature in the workshop, with Jason and the team working hard to ensure that every detail and specific original features of the gates are spot on.

The gates are forged in very heavy mild steel sections consisting of 45mm² hinge stiles, 45mm² top and bottom rails, all with upset ends and forged tenons. Incorporating numerous horizontal rails of 45x20mm – also with forged tenons – the gates feature  numerous scrolled sections made from 40x15mm and 40x12mm flatbars, all forge-welded and formed hot.

With all the component parts made and assembled, work continues apace!

Here are a just a few photos of the gates in the workshop from the very early stages. We’ll keep you posted with progress and pictures over the coming weeks.

Scrollwork within horizontal mid rails  Firewelding of scrolls     Scroll forming

Regency walled garden gates

We blogged about the making and restoration of these three traditional wrought iron kitchen garden gates a few weeks ago. Please follow this link to read all about it.

We now have some pictures of them in situ and they look truly stunning. If you would like to talk to us about wrought iron gate restoration, or have a new commission in mind, please get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

Regency gates for a walled garden

During January Martin Smith and Paul Ashmore worked on the restoration of an unusual kitchen garden gate from Cothelstone in the foothills of the Quantocks. The Ironart team was also commissioned to follow the original design and make up three new, replica gates to replace those that have long since gone missing from the walled garden, a challenge which we gratefully accepted.

The original gate is an impressive, heavy wrought iron example of complex, traditional construction, featuring tenon joints and curved punched rails and elegant forging. By Martin’s estimation the gate dates from c. 1820 and was without doubt specifically commissioned for the walled kitchen garden it graces. This was a really interesting and challenging project for the Ironart team who fully appreciated the craftsmanship and high level of precision with which it had been made.
Because the assembly of the original gate was so complex the team chose not to remove any of the component parts for cleaning. The extensive corrosion between joints had resulted in a great deal of rust jacking and failure of the tenon joints, all of which had to be meticulously cleaned by hand with brushes, chisels and scrapers. Any replacement parts were made by the team using wrought iron to retain the structural integrity of the gate. The original spring latch was reinstated as a working feature and a new stainless steel mortice lock was enclosed within a wrought iron box in sympathy with the original design. (For those that are interested, the main construction of this original gate was 1 1/4″ stiles, 3/4″ main bars and 2″ x 1/2″ rails – both straight and curved.)

The replica gates were tackled by one of our highly experienced blacksmith’s Jason Balchin, understudied by NADFAS intern Cecilie Robinson and Adrian Booth.
Jason’s first challenge was to scale down the dimensions of the original gate and create templates for the three new gates to fill the apertures in the wall. The new gates not only faithfully followed the design of the original, but were also traditionally made, with tenons, mechanical joints and firewelded features. The central diamond detail was made up of fire-welded joints and halving joins. All the ends of the rails had forged tenons which were heated up and riveted into countersunk holes on the stiles. It’s important to point out that these new gates were constructed using modern materials – ie: metric mild steel instead of imperial wrought iron.
Due to the complexity of this project the team had to assemble them three times during the making process to ensure that all dimensions and calculations had been accurately achieved.
Prior to assembly all the mating joints and tenons were flooded with a zinc rich primer before being sent to a local firm for shot blasting and hot zinc spraying and priming. Once this has been done they’ll be ready for their final paint application.

Jason Balchin says of this project: “It was really enjoyable making these complex, technical gates and a pleasure to work with Adrian on our first big project together – he did a really great job.”

 

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.

Installation of the restored Wincanton Gates

We finally got back on site to reinstate the magificent set of entrance gates from a large country house near Wincanton, that were restored earlier in 2013.

Martin and Andy travelled to site to install them. We also supplied a new cattle grid to sit underneath the gates.

 

Restoration of Maperton House gates

We have just started restoration work on these stunning entrance gates from Maperton house near Wincanton and couldn’t resist blogging a picture of them.  They have just come back from being carefully stripped and are gracing the Ironart workshops. The gates are historic and intriguing, they are entirely traditionally made, and feature monograms and lots of fascinating joins and features.

These magnificent gates are just one aspect of a large restoration project.  Ironart also recently fitted some support trusses to an historic orangery at Maperton House. We promise there will be more pictures to follow as this project takes shape.

 

Restoration of a traditionally made gate

Ironart of Bath - gate restoration service

Ironart of Bath - gate restoration service

This beautiful wrought iron gate came in for repair, everyone in the workshop has been admiring the design, detail and workmanship on it – and it’s a classic example of traditionally made ironwork.

The gate was badly in need of restoration – there were multiple paint layers, rust corrosion and organic lichen growth, a broken lock box, broken fixings, missing scrolls and sections where the wrought iron had ‘blown’. Despite this, much of the gate was in good working order and well worth restoring.

Jason used various techniques to clean it up, he forged new scrolls to match with existing, and created a new sliding bolt mechanism. The gate was finished with a specialist paint system to give optimum resistence to future corrosion. It’s deeply satisfying to see the results that can be achieved in this type of metalwork restoration project.

If you have a rusty old gate that you think it is worth preserving for the future – please give us a call on 01225 311 273 or email us some images for a restoration quote because we’d love to help.