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Foster Hill Road Cemetery Gates

A Victorian Cemetery on the English Heritage List. “Bedford’s first municipal cemetery opened on the 5th June 1855. The cemetery was built by the Borough of Bedford and consisted of 18 acres which was increased in later years to approximately 37 acres. There is much historical and family history to be found amongst over 50,000 memorials with in excess of 100,000 burials. Both the gatehouse and chapels were designed in the Gothic revival style by the Bedford architect Thomas Jobson Jackson.”

We carefully removed two sets of wrought iron vehicle gates and two delicate pedestrian gates alog with two rotten oak posts and transported them back to our workshop. We gently blast cleaned the ironwork in a controlled environment to remove all of the old paints and corrosion in order to provide a suitable medium for successive coats of a new paint system. The vehicular gates had suffered from vehicle impact damage in the past and were largely corroded. We replaced six missing cast iron finials on the archway gates and a number of forged finials to the roadside gates with exacting replicas.

Both sets of vehicular gates were fitted with refurbished lock boxes containing modern locks to secure the gates when closed. We replaced both oak posts on the roadside gates with faithful replicas of the originals.

All interstices were sealed by hand with a polyurethane adhesive sealer, paying particular attention to areas that could trap water. In these areas the sealer was shaped by hand to enable the water to run off effectively. Successive hand applied paint layers were then applied using our high specification paint system, before the restored gates were transported back to site and installed into their original positions by our own installation team.

The large wrought iron vehicular gates to the archway prior to restoration.

The large wrought iron vehicular gates to the archway prior to restoration.

One of the delicate wrought iron pedestrian gates to the archway awaiting restoration.

One of the delicate wrought iron pedestrian gates to the archway awaiting restoration.

The other iron pedestrian gate awaiting restoration.

The other iron pedestrian gate awaiting restoration.

The roadside vehicular gates long overdue restoration, but generally complete. Note the unusual cast iron Ogee skirts to the posts.

The roadside vehicular gates long overdue restoration, but generally complete. Note the unusual cast iron Ogee skirts to the posts.

We replaced much of the lower iron with new following blast cleaning. Discreet welding chosen to secure the new plates. Welds ye to be dressed in this photo.

We replaced much of the lower iron with new following blast cleaning. Discreet welding chosen to secure the new plates. Welds ye to be dressed in this photo.

We straightened and repaired all damage to the gate leaves.

We straightened and repaired all damage to the gate leaves.

The archway gates bear the original iron makers name.

The archway gates bear the original iron makers name.

We replaced both oak posts on the roadside gates with replicas from sustainable sources.

We replaced both oak posts on the roadside gates with replicas from sustainable sources.

The restored archway vehicular gates.

The restored archway vehicular gates.

One of the restored archway pedestrian gates.

One of the restored archway pedestrian gates.

The other gate.

The other gate.

The roadside gates were carefully levelled and aligned to ensure correct and safe operation.

The roadside gates were carefully levelled and aligned to ensure correct and safe operation.

Project Details