Wickham Road Cemetery Railings, Fareham

We were recently asked to refurbish the railings at Wickham Road Cemetery in Fareham. Dating from around 1889, there are 24 wrought iron panels, each spanning six metres in length and totalling more than 140 metres of railing.

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In recent decades the railings have had temporary in situ repairs made to them, one of which was the introduction of a mechanically fixed bottom rail to secure the vertical bars into the original stone, which had suffered from trapped water and the freeze-thaw process.

 

 

 

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Mechanical bottom rail

Originally the bars were individually fitted with the top strap in two pieces and a halving join in the centre. With this being the first time that the railings are being removed for more extensive repair, we had to release the original halving join, separating the bars into two panels and then cutting through the recently added bottom strap.

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Original halving join

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Separating the halving join

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Preparing to extract one of the railing panels

 

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Fixings into the stone piers have been compromised

All of the bars are in fair condition considering their age but there is evidence of rust-jacking, especially around the bottom rail repair. It is also clear that the rust-jacking of the top strap has compromised the fixings into the stone piers.

We will be working to conserve the railings sympathetically; after trimming the bars to allow clearance under the panels and ensuring that trapped water and the freeze-thaw problem doesn’t reoccur, we will introduce a bottom rail of wrought iron. The railings will require cleaning, removal of all rust, repairs to structurally inadequate and missing components and finally re-painting.

PT Contractors are responsible for replacing all the stone copings and rebuilding the piers as necessary. The Real Wrought Iron Company will be supplying the wrought iron for the bottom rail. With the recent arrival at their workshop of over 30 tonnes of chain dredged from the bottom of Portsmouth harbour, we wonder if some of the chain may find itself back in the neighbourhood  very soon…

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.

 

 

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.

Railing restoration, Camden Crescent Bath

We were commissioned to restore the railings on steps to the rear of Camden Crescent in Bath. The images show the project from removal, through refurbishment (and in some instances replacement) right through to the reinstatement and leading-in to the stonework on site.

If you have a set of railings and would like to talk to us about the possibility of repair, please do not hesitate to get in touch because we’d love to help.

Somerset Place ‘Pleasure Gardens’ Bath

We have recently completed a large and prestigious project on Lansdown in Bath for Nimbus Conservation. The ‘Pleasure gardens’ are located immediately west of Lansdown Crescent and form the focal point for Somerset Place, a grand sweep of elegant Georgian houses. The central houses in Somerset Place were once part of Bath College. They were recently privately acquired from Bath City Council and are being fully renovated prior to being sold as residences in this highly desirable corner of Bath.

Ironart were commissioned to restore and reinstate 40 metres of pre-existing railings, and to supply and fit a new 110m run of railings set into the stone copings that Nimbus had restored and partially replaced. The Somerset Place project incorporates two gates (one single, one double). The railings are topped with traditional ‘Bath’ style finials, rivetted stays and are entirely traditionally made.

What these sun-blessed pictures do not convey is the freezing cold temperatures, the sleet, the frost and the North wind that battered the Ironart team the entire time that they were up on Lansdown fitting these beautiful railings!!

Follow these links to the websites for Savilles Somerset Place and Nimbus Conservation.