NHIG Achievements

We are proud of the following projects which have either been completed or are work in progress:

Colour & Finish in Heritage Ironwork

June 2018 – current (Funded by the Lord Faringdon Charitable Trust, the Aurelius Trust and Bailey Paints)

A guidance booklet examining the importance of colour and finish in heritage ironwork, looking at historic colour schemes and exploring methodologies for reinstating or replacing them, including how to take paint samples and record findings. This project is currently in progress.  If you would like to contribute a case study please get in touch.

BathIRON 2018

June 2016-June 2018

Two years in the planning, our first major event BathIRON, which combined a major public forging project (see image of Parade Gardens bandstand balustrade above) with seminars, talks, exhibitions, live music and hands-on workshops, took place in June 2018 and was a resounding success.  You can read all about it here: https://nhig.org.uk/bathiron-inspires-and-enthralls-all-ages/

Glossary of Heritage Ironwork

June 2017 – current (Funded by the Foyle Foundation)
The initial stage of this project has now been uploaded onto our website.  You can download the first draft of our Glossary here: Glossary of Ironwork Terms (.pdf) and contribute to the next edition (see Get Involved)

‘Materials & Techniques for Repairs to Traditionally Forged Ironwork’ publication

October 2016 – February 2018

This illustrated Guidance, funded by the Leche Trust, the Radcliffe Trust and the Bath World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund, is now complete. Copies are available to purchase in our Shop.  You can read a Taster here: Materials & Techniques TASTER (.pdf) .

‘Illustrated Conservation Principles’ publication

November 2017 completed

Funded by The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
Following the publication of our Conservation Principles in 2013, NHIG have now brought out an Illustrated Guide to these principles, copies of which are available through our Shop.  You can read a taster here: Conservation Principles with Illustrated Guidelines TASTER (.pdf) .

Advanced Apprenticeship

2014 – current      (Voluntary)
Under development with City and Guilds, which includes a heritage pathway developed by NHIG, with the intention of it being up and running between August 2014 and August 2015. This development was led by the British Artist Blacksmith Association with NHIG having a key role in the steering group.

Establishment and Staffing of NHIG Office

April 2015 – March 2019  (Funded by the Dulverton Trust)

July 2012 – July 2014  (Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation)

NHIG was founded by volunteers and continues to be largely run by volunteers but it became clear that in order to underpin the progress made in its early years an office was required; this would become the focal point of the group, handling day to day core activities and administration.  The funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation was for 2 years; the evaluation report for the project can be downloaded below.  Since April 2015, we have been fortunate enough to receive funding from the Dulverton Trust to support the running of our office, which has allowed much important work to be completed.

Establishment & Staffing of Office - Evaluation Report 31 July 2014 (.pdf)

Heritage Blacksmiths Bursary

October 2013 – completed     (Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Royal Palaces, Construction Skills, The Worshipful Co of Ironmongers, British Artist Blacksmiths Association, York Consortium for Conservation and Craftsmanship  and 5% voluntary)
NHIG established the first specialised training programme for Blacksmith Conservators within the UK. Although only a two year programme a sustainable future for the college based part of our programme has been secured through the ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’ mentioned separately.  For further information please visit the NHIG Heritage Blacksmiths’ Bursary page or download the Evaluation Report below.

Heritage Blacksmiths Evaluation Report (.pdf)

Conservation Principles & Guidance for Heritage Forged & Cast Ironwork

April 2013 – completed     (Funded by The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers)
NHIG created the first comprehensive statement specifically for the conservation of ironwork providing guidance for practitioners and specifiers alike. The Principles are endorsed by leading conservation bodies including the National Trust, English Heritage and Icon.  A copy of this guidance can be downloaded below.

NHIG Conservation Guidelines (.pdf)

Guidelines for Commissioning Conservation Work from Blacksmiths

February 2013   (Voluntary)

NHIG created a list of questions for commissioners to put to blacksmiths in order to determine whether the blacksmith is able to make correct judgements for conservation best practice and establish if he or she has the necessary craft skills to carry out the work.  The hope is that these guidelines will empower commissioners to make informed decisions in the absence of an accredited list of craftsmen.  A copy of the document can be downloaded below.

Commissioning Guidelines (.pdf)

Continued Professional Development (CPD) Course in the Conservation of Architectural Ironwork

March 2011 – established     (Voluntary).  This is an ongoing project with courses being run on an annual basis.  For further details, please visit the Continued Professional Development page 
NHIG have designed and developed a two day CPD course aimed at professionals involved with the conservation of ironwork In order to promote good practise. Delegates learn the basic principles of assessing historic ironwork in situ and make decisions about its care.

J Starkie Gardner – Reprinted

2010 – 2012 (voluntary)
First published in 1911, this book is an accumulation of years of practical work and research by the author, focusing on what is often regarded as the ‘golden age’ of decorative English ironwork. It not only provides the most comprehensive and outstanding record of this art and craft, but it also discusses stylistic trends and attitudes towards decorative ironwork.

The reprint of this important work was instigated by the NHIG and published by Donhead Publishing (now owned by the Taylor & Francis Group).  For further details please click here.

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

June 2010      (Voluntary)
NHIG establishing the first ever NOS for blacksmithing with Construction Skills under their heritage crafts section. This was important in providing a national standard against which training programmes for blacksmiths could be mapped. For further information please visit the National Occupational Standards page

NHIG Launch at Hampton Court Palace

July 2010      (Voluntary, Sponsored by Anwick Forge, BABA, Fire & Iron, Historic Royal Palaces, Orchard House IFAs Ltd, Project Book,  Rational Graphics, The Ironwork Studio, Topp & Co, Worshipful Co Blacksmiths andYork CCC)
A special ‘Wrought Ironwork’ event to launch the NHIG and raise awareness of the need for developing and promoting good practice in the heritage ironwork sector.