August 23, 2016

The History of Architectural Ironmongery


For many years, architects have been incorporating ironware into the buildings that they design. Back then; this architectural ironmongery was often created by local blacksmiths. Since the Industrial Revolution, however, this has changed.

Now, ironmongery can be mass produced and placed on buildings all over the world. With that said, it’s still common to see architects working with local businesses. In fact, an architect is far more likely to work with a regional company that someone from abroad.

Because of the strong regional focus, it’s easy to trace the history of many of the foremost names in ironmongery. One UK-based company, Bennetts Ironmongery, has beene established since at least 1734. Similarly, William Tonks & Sons can be traced back to 1789. Many other businesses that are still known today became established during that time.

William Newton got its start in Wolverhampton during 1750, though the business relocated to Birmingham several decades later. Parker Winder & Achurch got its start in 1836; several decades later, Manchester company Laidlaw was founded.

There was a lot of consolidation in the world of Ironmongery after World War II. Many of the best-known businesses merged together, and others still were acquired and taken over by another company. There was some concern that these mergers would negatively impact the legacy of these companies.

In order to prevent this, The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers was founded back in 1961. While their primary goal is to maintain the high standards of the ironmongery business, they also work to protect the proud history of these companies.

The guild runs GuildMark, which is an industry accreditation scheme. They also offer a diploma course, an education program, and a scheme which allows a person to become a Registered Architectural Ironmonger.

These days, anyone who wants to work in the ironmongery industry will work alongside the guild. They’ll help them to get the training they need, and to find placement at one of the best-known companies in the industry. The guild ensures that the quality of the work produced is kept high, and that anyone with an interest in architectural ironmongery has options.

These days, people who work in this industry provide all kinds of products. They may create original pieces for new buildings, or provide restoration hardware. Many ironmongers specialize in producing traditionally-styled fixtures and fittings, which allows people to restore old homes without sacrificing any of their charms.

Other products produced by ironmongers include electrical fittings, security gates, and window hardware. If it can be made from iron, an ironmonger can create it. The people who work in this industry are genuine artists who draw on the experience of those who came before them.

Now that you have a better understanding of the ironmongery industry, you can see why so many people have so much respect for it. There’s a lot of value in taking a closer look at the world of ironmongery, whether or not you’re planning on commissioning an ironmonger for a project of your own.