The craftsmanship involved in traditional period ironwork is a great passion for us here at Oldfield Forge and we work alongside many historic and conservation organisations in order to help restore heritage pieces. We specialise in all aspects of restoration and conservation of traditional and historic ironwork. We have developed a formal relationship system to ensure that our work within the forge is carried out to the highest ethical standards of the blacksmithing profession. Head blacksmith, Aaron Heath, and our small team of experienced blacksmiths are extremely conscious of the considerable responsibility placed upon them when restoring and preserving important heritage ironwork. We work on the basis that the best conservation practice is to retain as much of the original material as possible and that, if viable, any necessary interventions should be reversible.
We view the conservation and restoration of historic ironwork as an essential contribution to the protection of our British heritage. Our aim (where appropriate) is to return the item to its original condition using minimal intervention in order to restore the history and heritage of the ironwork. We provide a comprehensive assessment as to the condition of the piece and recommend the best practice for its conservation and restoration. We can recreate missing elements of the original whilst in other cases we use our skills and experience in ironwork reproduction to craft a new piece sympathetic to the style of the building of which it is a part.
Retain as much of the existing material as possible using innovative methodologies
Where possible to repair sympathetically - rather than renewing
Use where possible traditional techniques and materials
Compile images of the artefact before, during and after conservation work through the medium of drawings and photographs in order to provide a documented long-term record of the stages of the restoration project.
Ensure our restoration practice is to the highest quality and, where practical, consistent with the original techniques employed.
Provide a consultancy which will help you decide upon the best and most sympathetic approach to every project, including best practice methods and the processes of dismantling and re-installation.
“An architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history – the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the tombs of kings and queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions, including sixteen royal weddings.”
We have recently carried out an intensive conservation programme on the Westminster Abbey Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. Our work included the forging of new but traditionally-styled door furniture consistent with the heritage of this very special historic building.