In developing this section of our website, NHIG’s aim is to become the hub for heritage ironwork information.

Our vision is to act as a focal point for the collection, publication, exchange and dissemination of this information. Although this section is in the early stages of development we trust it will evolve as additional information is gathered.

Current sections include Conservation Principles, Commissioning Guidelines, Articles, Guidance, Did you know and Links

We need your help to achieve our aim

If you have any suggestions for additions to this page please contact us.


The Historical Metallurgy Society

Did you know about the range of Datasheets in PDF format available on Historical Metallurgy Society’s website?

These cover a broad range of interesting topics, from geophysical detection techniques to the old methods of working and refining various metals – including our favourite, iron.

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Ultrasonic Testers

Did you know that ultrasonic testers can be used to check the thickness of enclosed rusty wrought iron box-sections?

The technique has been used to check plate thicknesses remaining on Brunel’s Swivel Bridge, built in 1849 in Bristol City Docks.  It carried road traffic over the entrance lock of the Floating Harbour, but could rotate to allow ship to pass.  It is now derelict, but a restoration project is under way, led by NHIG Council member Geoff Wallis and a team of volunteers.

Repeatable results were obtained using an ultrasonic 2 Mhz array with water-based gel coupling agent. The instrument needed to be calibrated on wrought iron, as the pre-programmed settings for steel and cast iron gave incorrect readings.  For further information see or contact Geoff on

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V & A’s Ironwork Catalogue

Did you know  about the V & A’s ironwork catalogue with over 130 pages of information and images about the 1000+ items of ironwork in their collection?

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