On this page, you will find all the entries for our pre-conference competition: BEST NEW DESIGN IN A HERITAGE SETTING. And WE NEED YOUR HELP to judge them. We want as many people as possible to vote for the design which they think complements its heritage setting most successfully. Each design is accompanied by a brief explanation of its context and the design idea to help you judge how well it achieves its aims.

YOU DECIDE who will win the New Heritage Design award to be presented at our Conference: Forging Ahead in November at the V&A.

When you have viewed all entries, CLICK HERE to cast your vote for the BEST design. VOTING WINDOW 1st OCTOBER-7th NOVEMBER You can only cast one vote.

  1. St George’s Garrison Church gates

The Royal Garrison Church of St. George at Woolwich Barracks was destroyed by a flying bomb in the Second World War. Now open to the public as a memorial garden, a national competition was held to design new gates for the west end to provide a secure and attractive entrance to the ruined church. The inspiration behind the design is the poem In Flanders Field by Lt. Col. John McCrae, which describes the poppies growing between the crosses marking the graves of the fallen. It also describes larks singing and flying in the sky above the guns below. The poem, and the poppy it describes, have since become the remembrance symbol for soldiers who have died in all conflicts. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

2. Ely Cathedral Reredos

We were asked to provide a reredos and the structure of a timber altar  to a modern design originated by the architect, in the Lady Chapel in Ely Cathedral.  The original stone reredos was destroyed in antiquity to make way for a wooden one, now removed. It was important to maintain access to the remains of the original so the design concept provided  for an open ironwork frame. Puddled wrought iron was the material of choice, but this was augmented by elements of  pre-corroded mild steel plate, and lettering in cast iron.  The treatment of the joints makes a feature of the mechanical fixings, mortices, tenons and wedges etc. all details were fully forged. The finish was as forged and treated with paraffin wax applied to the hot iron. The steel elements were gilded. VIEW IN FULL. VOTE HERE

3. Shrewsbury Cathedral

The challenge was to create a design that had a classical feel to complement the overall setting but at the same time was a unique piece that was a mark of its time. The classic square quatrefoil, a motif that is repeatedly used in the interior, provided inspiration as a linkage from inside to out which in addition had a gothic feel that felt befitting a cathedral and a tribute to Pugin. A simplified bold interpretation gave it a modern twist. A repeat pattern allowed us to use cast iron throughout with the added benefit of being able to cost effectively include moulding details which added to the overall quality of the finished item. The finished colour was tonally light enough to cast shadows, allowing for greater three-dimensional affect, with the choice of blue referencing the Virgin Mary to whom the cathedral is dedicated. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

4. Stillingfleet St Helens

Stillingfleet St Helens Church is famous for the ironwork on the main door, which dates from the tenth century. In 2002 it was decided to shift the old door inside the church to protect it so there was a need for a new oak door. Working with the architect, we designed new hinges and door furniture in puddled wrought iron to a new design based upon some elements of the old ironwork. The new door was hinged on the opposite side so that the old door can still be displayed in its original position in the doorway. The finish applied in 2002 was black bitumen applied to the hot iron. By 2017 the exposed surfaces had weathered back to a stable oxide, which, alongside the weathering of the oak door, produce a result similar to that of the natural processes at work on the original door. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

5. York City Wall Gate

We were asked to design and make a pedestrian gate to close the entrance to the upper room of Bootham Bar. The brief was for a gate in puddled wrought iron, robust enough to be opened hundreds of times a day by people walking the City Wall. The object was also to keep out the pigeons, which roosted in the room. The result was fully traditionally constructed, and carries a woven mesh of galvanised steel. The original finish was three coats of bitumen, the first applied to the hot iron, which has weathered back naturally to the iron oxide surface, some areas highlighted by the wear of the passage of countless visitors. VOTE HERE

6. Bath Sun Flower

In June 2013 we approached the council in Bath with a proposal to install a structure on one of the prominent roundabouts in the city situated at the junction between three striking Georgian streets including Great Pulteney Street one of the grandest Georgian streets in Britain and adjacent to The Holburne Museum, another grand example of Georgian architecture.

We wanted to create a striking contemporary sculpture that would provoke comment, but its form needed to seek reference to the traditional ironwork that is such an integral part of the streetscape in Bath. It was these factors that influenced his design for ‘The Sun Flower’. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

7. Maid of the Bridge, Bath

‘Maid of the Bridge’ is a unique piece of public art installed on the newly developed Riverside site in Bath in 2018. The sculpture was created using the 172 sections of puddled wrought iron bars reclaimed from the original chains of the adjacent Victoria Bridge when it went through a process of conservation and reconstruction in 2015. 

The resulting work steeped in the site history was created by a collaborative of local companies, bringing together art, history, heritage blacksmithing skills and engineering.  This project celebrates heritage skills, historical engineering and the industrial heritage of the site whilst also connecting the past to the future, embracing modern engineering skills and skilled hand-crafted work. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

8. Southsea Bandstand

Built in 1996 and placed on Henry VIII battery protecting Portsmouth Harbour, this bandstand needed English Heritage planning permission. 

Made to look Edwardian in style. Much loved in the Summer months for free music events. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

9. Porter’s Garden Gate, Portsmouth Historic Naval Dockyard

The Porter was in charge of supplying the likes of Nelson, Captain Cooke and Raleigh. The garden was restored by volunteers. The gates were made on site during the International Festival of the Sea 2000 to a Georgian theme. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

10. The Friary, Southsea, Portsmouth

A restored listed building in Southsea designed by Thomas Ellis Owen. Unusually, an adventurous developer approved of our bold design in 2005 and so did the planners. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

11. Carter Lane Balconies, City of London

Carter Lane is one of the City of London’s old narrow lanes. The building prior to a recent conversion to a family home had been a commercial warehouse with the facade dating back to mid Victorian era. The brief was to come up with a design that picked up on the early commercial use of the building, but also related to the decorative stone adornments on the façade and surrounding buildings and would sit comfortably within its context. Surprisingly the bow fronts that form part of the brief come from the fabricated metalwork that was fitted to the building in the 1970s prior to its listing. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

12. Melody, Parade Gardens Bandstand Balustrade, Bath

This panel, entitled ‘Melody’, was commissioned as part of a joint project to create a new balustrade for the Parade Gardens bandstand in the centre of Bath. The balustrade features an original score representing a newly composed piece of music called ‘Hammer and Anvil’ and the 8 panels interspersed through the score had to have a musical theme. The concept of ‘Melody’ was about trying to visualise what music might look like if we could see it as well as hear it so the idea was really a visual melody. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

13. Moravian Star, Malmesbury

This sculpture was commissioned by the team organising the renovation of the former Moravian Church in Malmesbury, a new community building and extension of the Athelstan Museum.  I was asked to identify a location for a public sculpture that would ‘link to the heritage of the town and building while being contemporary and inspiring’.  Researching the history of the Moravian Church helped formalise my designs and I chose to use the space between the restored beautiful stained glass windows facing the roadside. I studied the complex structure of the Moravian Star – a symbol of the historic use of the building – and considered the geometric possibilities of forging a sculpture with 26 points of a true Moravian star structure.  My design developed, deconstructing the star shape while considering my blacksmithing techniques as the main means of making the work. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

14. Burgh Le Marsh, Skegness

These railings are part of a public realm enhancement scheme in Skegness and all situated in a conservation area, with the bridge railings being adjacent to the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Cock Hill. The idea was to tell a story of some of the history of the town and some of its historical characters. The area was originally marshland and this was taken as a background theme to link the various elements within the town.  We designed a wave pattern for the base of all the railing panels which brought to mind an association with water and enhanced this with forged flora and fauna found in marshland areas, particularly those rare species found only in the local habitat. These panels had spaced amongst them a series of theme panels developed in association with local schoolchildren, the youth group, the W.I. and other interested local people. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

15. Harris Manchester College Gates, Oxford

New Gate to the Sukum Navapan Gateway and associated railings to the adjoining Siew-Sngiem Clock Tower in association with Yiangou Architects. A contemporary, classical design for a new college entrance and clock tower, incorporating five student rooms. It has high quality masonry and stone carving, including inscriptions. The design was developed from sketches to be classical in feel to fit in with the new stonework of the archway. From a practical point of view the gate incorporates a ground fixed self closing mechanism and electronic lock as it is opened around 400 times daily. It is constructed using traditional blacksmithing techniques which help to give a sense of solidity and age to a brand new gateway. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

16. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Parade Gardens Bandstand, Bath

I was invited to design one of the Master panels for the themed balustrade for the Parade Gardens bandstand in Bath as part of BathIRON, a festival designed to bring together contemporary design and traditional techniques. The theme was music, and the design is based on the Simon and Garfunkel song, Bridge Over Troubled Water. The idea of using this song as the inspiration for the panel came to me at a low point in my life and was drawn from a hospital bed. It was made during the inspiring BathIRON Festival of ironwork by a mixed team of experienced smiths and students. The materials used were mild steel, copper and stainless steel.  The finish is galvanised, painted and gilded. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

17. Brancepeth Screen, Durham

A glazed screen at The Church of St. Brandon, Brancepeth, near Durham. The church dates from Saxon times, but was badly damaged by fire in 1998. Among other work we did there during the restoration, we made a screen glazed with toughened glass to separate the transept from the nave to form a quiet chapel. The effigy of Sir Robert Neville, (died 1319), lies at the foot of the arch, so as you can imagine, the installation was a delicate procedure. The screen was also far too big to fit through the door of the church, so one of the windows had to be removed so that the 800 kg screen could be winched through on edge. Sit Robert, not being a peacable man, died in battle, hence the spear-like motifs at the top of the screen.The finish is sandblasted, burnished and lacquered. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

18. Bishop Auckland Town Hall Gates

Gates for Bishop Auckland Town Hall made as part of a refurbishment of the building in 1992. The town hall is currently closed for refurbishment again, 27 years later. The gates were originally designed as two pairs, but with access problems inside when open, each opening has a single leaf gate weighing around half a ton,with a fixed overthrow. For this reason, horizontal rails were added to the original design to stiffen up the gates The finish is hot dip galvanising followed by micaceous iron oxide and black topcoat, both in high build vinyl, is seems to have lasted quite well in an urban area. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

19. Votive Candle Stand, Egglescliff

A votive candle stand designed and made for the 12th century parish church at Egglescliffe. The steel was burnished then finished with beeswax and turpentine polish. VOTE HERE

20. Carnaby Street Gate, London

A gate design fit for the 21st Century yet reflecting Carnaby Street’s iconic heritage as being the birthplace of swinging London in the 1960s, with its strong geometric form and bold colours. The installation has two purposes, a security gate at night but during the day a screen to obscure the property’s air control vents. With air flow an important consideration the view of the vents could only be disguised as opposed to fully blocked. The resulting design had a busy open framework, with random infills, to engage and distract the eye from the view beyond. Constructed using highly skilled fabrication techniques, without a weld in sight, from polished stainless steel with glass inserts. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

21. Roberts Park Bandstand, Saltaire

A bold new design that creates a centre piece for the park yet is sympathetic to its World Heritage Site.  The unusual ornamental theme came about through consultation with the local community whereby one activity involved asking school children to draw their thoughts on ‘what does music outdoors mean to you?’ and ‘what is a bandstand?’. The resulting concept was of musical instruments blowing out flowers and leaves in place of musical notes. This theme had the added benefit of a direct reference to Saltaire’s heritage, with flowers being a distinctive decorative element within the local buildings. This was developed into four capital designs, for the top of the columns, with a combination of: Horns & Saxifrage; Violins & Maple; Cymbals & (Blue) Bells; Harps & Shamrock. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE

22. Selby Abbey Gate

Selby Abbey is one of the few monastic churches to survive as a parish church.  Much of the church is mediaeval including the North Porch, which dates back to the 12th and 13th Centuries.  The need for gates on the North Porch arose from an unfortunate increase in anti-social behaviour and vandalism to the important masonry.  As is so often the case in heritage settings, the project was one of trying to balance the tensions between altering a building and preferring not to.  Accepting the need to have gates and seeking to make them interesting and worthy of their location.  The design of the gates is based on an abstraction of grand 18th century gates (with buttressed side pilasters and overthrow) combined with references to the north door and its surround (vertical ribs, layers of smaller detail) and details of the Romanesque door surround. VIEW IN FULL VOTE HERE