The Role of Ironmongery in Heritage Conservation

Heritage Ironmongery

It is remarkable that we are able to appreciate ancient architecture over hundreds of years after they’ve been constructed. Most of these ancient structures owe their prolonged lifespan to the art of heritage conservation, ironmongery, and architecture. However, while we recognize that ironmongery is indispensable to the world of restoration, most architects get to it at a much later stage of the process than they should. Here’s why it is essential to make these arrangements from the inception of your heritage conservation project.

How Ironmongery Shapes Your Project

The success of any restoration project is reflected in how you use your craft to enhance the finer structures of the building. The idea is to restore and prolong the life of the object while maintaining or enhancing its original appeal. Here is where ironmongery plays a crucial role. 

No matter what scale your project is, your first thought should be the procurement of raw materials. Given that a large number of heritage artefacts contain little to large amounts of metallic substances like iron, copper, and bronze, sourcing the right material for restoration is vital to maintaining the authenticity of the object. When you evaluate the changes, you need to make to a given building, you’ll notice that a lot of it includes materials and products such as door handles, kitchen utensils, antique household items and more.

All of these often need to be custom-made so they appear to be as similar to their corroded counterparts as possible. Additionally, the raw materials required might also take a while for the ironmonger to procure and then cast to match the original piece. Initiating this process from the very beginning will help you finish your project in a more systematic and timely manner. 

A Glimpse into Real Restoration Projects

There have been several heritage restorations through which the role of ironmongery can be observed as vital since the very beginning.  Rochester Cathedral, for example, underwent a refurbishment of its crypt and library. For the purposes of retention and refurbishment, we chose to incorporate pull handles to match the existing work and bronze railings around the seating area, among other necessary changes. 

Other restorations we’ve been involved with such as Hereford Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London, have undergone similar changes to be able to maintain and enhance their existing structures. The subtlety and intricacy of the art require special attention to detail. Even large-scale architectural buildings require metal restorations to preserve the beauty of smaller features like windows, doors, and railings. 

Begin with a Consultation

To begin a restoration project for any building, you need to have a clear idea of what you want. A good idea starting point is to get begin a consultation with an architect who specialises in restorations and refurbishments. Once you have a clear idea of structural requirements, consultation with an architectural ironmonger who specialises in the finer details of conservations involving ironmongery is essential to complete your project. 

If you have a project of this nature requiring specialist advice, then please do get in touch with us for a quick consultation