A new housing development required traditional wrought iron railings – who better to take on such a project than one of the only companies in the UK that still manufacture iron railings to the quality craftsmanship of Victorian times?
Morris Homes are one of the country’s largest and most respected house builders. By combining exceptional build quality, high specification materials, fixtures and fittings, great design and energy efficiency, they build houses of superior quality across the North West, Midlands and South of England.
The development in question was located in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Sitting astride the River Welland, Stamford is a beautiful historical town that features over 400 Grade I and II listed buildings including many 17th and 18th-century stone buildings. With such a historical location, ‘heritage’ would be a vital consideration throughout every step of this project. Committed to responsible development and the regeneration of local areas, Morris Homes had designed the new development, called Cecil Square, to be built in a style that would be in keeping with the local area.
Our brief was to manufacture and install bespoke wrought iron railings for the onsite Cecil Square Marketing Suite. As achieving an authentic heritage aesthetic was so crucial to the success of this development, we first met with architects to discuss their precise requirements and to address any concerns. We then met with them again once we had formulated our designs to ensure that they passed their strict requirements.
Once approved, we set to work. We created solid 20mm square upright railings with a simple yet authentic railhead design, accompanied by traditional rear supports that would add strength and support whilst also further enhancing the authentic look and feel of the design. The railings were then painted in a bespoke ‘Burghley Blue’ colour and galvanised to protect them from rust.
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We confronted a number of challenges during this project, the most pressing of which was the sheer level of perfection that was required. At Ironcraft, we work hard to ensure every product we create meets exceedingly high standards of quality, but on such a premium housebuilding development, all work would be under intense scrutiny.
We therefore impressed upon our manufacturers and fitters the need for perfect work at every stage of the process. The finish of the railings was to be of the highest quality with extremely neat welding and a perfect, smooth finish. Then, during transportation, the railings were to be handled with care so that little to no touching up was required once onsite.
When it came to installing the finished railings, the railings needed to be individually set into extremely expensive specialist stone walls which meant measures needed to be taken to avoid the risk of any damage being made to the stone. As a result, we ensured that our fitters knew not to undertake any welding or grinding without first ensuring that the stone was fully protected. To protect the stone further, we insisted that when drilling the stone copings, our fitters would need to be highly accurate and take the utmost care, and manage this process without using a hammer. Another aesthetic consideration was to ensure that the railings were installed very neatly without compromising on strength. This meant that when fixing, the resin would need to be handled extremely carefully to avoid visible resin marks that would mar the aesthetic.
Ultimately, we successfully achieved the high specification, premium wrought iron railings that our clients requested from us and installed them in a careful, seamless manner.