Victorian Fencing

This topic contains 1 reply, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Christopher Patzke 8 years ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #162286

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    I’m working on designing a simple fence on top of a low brick wall for a victorian home.  Probably fits into the Folk Victorian genre.  very simple, not a lot of gingerbread.  Anybody have good pictures or drawings of something they have done or seen?  My initial design attempt is attached.  -Miles

    #162302

    Christopher Patzke
    Participant

    Here’s an image from my portfolio.  The project was the restoration of a carpenter gothic parterre garden designed using AJ Downing’s principles – Roseland Cottage Woodstock, CT.  The fence is casual for the Victorian age and may fit your application.  Downing’s treatises could be a good resource for you.  I also believe there are several pattern books from the era that could help you.

    #162301

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    Chris thanks for this.  Do you have any of the resources you cited?  Just looking for more specifics about what I might be looking for or how/where to find them.  -Miles

    #162300

    Christopher Patzke
    Participant

    Original pattern books can be hard to find, and few, if any, are reprinted.  When I was the Curator of Landscapes at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities I had access to the organizations archives.  It made my job a lot easier.  If I were you, I would inquire at local historic preservation organizations.  Search for both photos and prints.  Many lithographs and etchings from the period will document architectural elements.  You may also wish to stop in antique shops to see what photos and prints they might have available.

    AJ Downings books have been reprinted quite a few times and they should be easy to find.  His works include: A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America, 1841, Cottage Residences: or, A Series of Designs for Rural Cottages and Adapted to North America, 1842, and The Architecture of Country Houses: Including Designs for Cottages, and Farm-Houses and Villas, With Remarks on Interiors, Furniture, and the best Modes of Warming and Ventilating, 1850.

    If you were closer to DC I would suggest the Library of Congress.

    #162299

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    Great, thanks.  I’m in DC on a pretty regular basis.

    #162298

    Les Ballard
    Participant

    It occurrs to me that you do not need to see Victorian photographs just around Edwardian, as folk had old fences, lol.  Many had simple spike top bars let in and location is important.  Shiplap pine was common as a whole fence or set above a low wall.  Gates were made of this too.  (Like a clinker built boat – and you nailed them when they came loose.)  Personally, the fence design put forward is not unlike simple lattice trellis and this lasted a while as the wind blows through and things can climb up it.  Largely, folk did not want their wall sat upon and iron studs, even broken glass before current laws, was popular, set in cement.  Your design is nice and I would suggest looking for suppliers of wrought iron work including the not real wrought iron produced more cheaply for inside shop windows and such as an attractive defence.  These often have hanging flanges so that they can be taken off for cleaning the glass or access got to a window display but they are not too dear and can be adapted for outdoor use.  They are metal and can be Japanned or painted.  Shopfitters can often advise re suppliers of these panels.  They are tough enough but do not withstand kicks and colliding trucks, of course.  They are light enough to deter all but the tiny from trying to climb over though of course are no deterrent to a determined person uncaring of whether they break off a leaf or whatever.  Grapevine and Ivy designs are popular and, using the modern version of red lead paint as an undercoat, it is even possible to apply gold leaf or paint to small areas to look really pretty.

     

    It is now possible to buy in garden centres rolls of willow screening, or such can be made from willow withies or hazel wands and laths, the correct form for which would be sheep hurdles.  These are tied or wired to metal stanchions let in or fixed to the inside of the wall.  Similar arches are also available.  Country crafters may make them there and are not dear considering how long they last and that they are repairable.  Finally, in Victorian times, it was the end of the Industrial Revolution and cast iron field gates and barred stanchions were made.  You would need a foundry nearby to make this worthwhile, perhaps as a challenge to students in an engineering school.  There are still rural examples of cast iron work now about 200 years old.  It all goes back to the ending of the agricultural revolution and so many living on the land when everyone bought similar designs of things from industrial centres.  In the UK, wooden five bar farm and field gates could still betray the county they came from until about 1960 but, largely, the same designs produced in cities covered the whole country by then.  These replaced cast iron items which became too dear, though town villas were famous for cast iron railings, especially for parks and painted green.  These were largely taken down in the war and donated as scrap for the war effort, though a lot was merely propoganda as with aluminium saucepans.  After the war, some railings were reinstated and these are the iconic town Victoriana, along, perhaps, with London Plane trees which did so much to absorb pollution.     

    #162297

    Eric Gilbey
    Participant

    Miles, Many projects I did in Ohio included iron work from Fortin Ironworks…their website has a gallery http://www.fortinironworks.com/images/fen/index.php which displays their projects, and they have a catalogue that allows you to see what they do typically…but custom work is always fun. They typically were also a good resource to talk with before proposing work, because they could help recognize how to implement projects with manufacturing “dos” and “don’ts”, so if you can find local fabricators in the area near your project, they might have the same thing..but perhaps this link could give some examples, too.

    #162296

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    Eric that gallery is great.  Very helpful.  We don’t always need to reinvent the wheel with design problems!  -Miles

    #162295

    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    What style is the house? The house style or period of ‘Vitorian’ determines the materials….

     

    For your fence sketch, you can look at a Julius Blum & Co. catalog (http://www.juliusblum.com/products.html) to find parts and pieces. I get all my hand rail from them, its nice stuff.

     

    You can also see if you can get some of the Dover books…I’ve got a bunch, but nothing with iron work in it (I have wood picket patterns if interested, I can scan the page), but you can find the books on iron here http://store.doverpublications.com/0486245357.html#productdescription

    Be sure to check out the “customers who bought this also bought” section.

    #162294

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    It’s folk victorian. 1870’s ish. See attached

    #162293

    Jason T. Radice
    Participant

    With that style of house, I’d probably opt for a picket-style fence. It better reflects vernacular victorian than an iron fence would. Plus, it would go better with the white trim and light paint. It would be accurate to place it on top of a brick wall as well. Here is an interesting vinyl manufacturer that offers mix-and-match colors that might look cool with the colors of the house. Might give you a few ideas.http://www.illusionsfence.com/gallery.html

     

    Another iron supplier who casts victorian era panels is Heritage Cast Iron. http://www.heritagecastironusa.com/   

    #162292

    Doug Bracken
    Participant

    Good News Les and others interested in authentic cast iron fencing and gates,

    Some of the Victorian era cast iron fence and gate designs that were lost are now available again in the UK at http://www.heritagecastiron.com and in the US at http://www.heritagecastironusa.com . These are historically accurate reproductions. Additionally, these products have easily passed historical review boards in Washington DC at General Logan’s house at #4 Logan Circle, and in the Mission Hills neighborhood in Kansas City.

    #162291

    Boilerplater
    Participant

    This company has some great historic cast iron pieces, since they’ve been around since these pieces were contemporary!

    http://stewartironworks.com/

     

    Got to agree about the wood picket fencing.  Cast iron works better on buildings with more somber colors, brick, stone masonry.  Its for more dense urban environments where you need a material that can handle the abuse.  Look at wood fences used at the noed New Urbanist community of Seaside, FL.

     

    Guess we’re frustrated desingers on here, trying to worm out way into your design!

    #162290

    Boilerplater
    Participant

    And if we’re nitpicking, I don’t think that blue standing seam metal roofing works AT ALL!  They probably paid a lot of money for it too!  Should have gone with copper or a more muted color.

    #162289

    Miles Barnard
    Participant

    Agreed on the roof.  That was there when I came on the project.  headed to Historic District Commission literally right now to see if we get approved on the fence.  I stuck with the metal.  It’s a pretty abusive urban environment.  I will post the results along with some elevations!  -Miles

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