The mill, (the mechanics of which had been lovingly refurbished by an old millwright who had stayed there for some time in exchange, I believe, for his expertise), was in the final stages of the building works prior to embarking upon a new career as a second home/holiday let. We had had some involvement in this process, what with handrails and door furniture, and so were asked to design, make and fit appropriate guarding to the various drops around the property.
Here was the situation when we were first approached about this set of rails.
There was a small granite bridge at a short distance from the house which had a slightly quirky handrail to one side of it that provided a natural design key to the provision of further railings.
Both the curious snakey scrolls and the simple forged methodology – pierced and tenonned stanchions accepting plain horizontal rails with straightforward fixings into the masonry bank of the stream – lent themselves to the application of a system throughout.
There was a small complication in that the mill wheel itself needed guarding rather more stringently and so for that section we adapted the design to incorporate sections of guarding to building regs.
these included the provision of access to the wheel via a small gated section as well as a textured grid to cover the large cut away in the bank that allowed access to the mill stream.
And then, finally, there was a large drop on either side of the rear entrance to the house so the system was applied there too..
The fitting was done in two stages as there were so many variables. We made everything to measurement first and then took it all onto site and fitted it. This allowed us to make adjustments and tweaks without concern about finishes .
Junctions and joints are where three quarters of ones’ time disappear; this job was no exception and the half lap joints – not terribly visible but very crucial – necessary to allow complete disassembly of the railings required a certain amount of thought.. (these joints are shown here temporarily bolted together; They are all copper rivetted at the final fitting stage)
Then we took it all down again, and repaired to the shotblasters for the finishing processes. Once blasted , hot zinc sprayed, primed and painted we returned, rather more gingerly and armed with resin and touch up sprays this time, and installed it once and for all.