How to recreate the original entrance to your Victorian home


How to recreate the original entrance to your Victorian home

Victorian architecture is one of the most diverse periods, ranging from Arts and Crafts styles through to epic gothic affairs. However most Victorian housing stock is in the form of red brick terraces with slate roofs in towns.

These town dwellings were often robbed of their identity through the unnecessary removal of iron gates, railings, handrail and sundries for the war effort. We are so used to seeing houses with the scars of this removal that we can’t imagine what it should look like. However when reinstated houses look somehow complete.

The reinstatement of these features is easy to achieve. Often the stone footings are still usable and new replacement railings can easily be attached to them at a relatively low price. Reinstating the original Victorian gate can make a big difference to the look of your home. 

Victorian house stairs and handrail

How do we go about replacing a Victorian entrance gate?

First it is worth doing a little research around your local area. Do any of the houses in your street or neighbourhood have original gates and railings in tact? If so take a picture and then you have a point of reference to what is historically correct in your area. However proceed with caution as not all houses would have had identical styles used. If you cannot find any sets of original gates and railings, you may need to search the internet or local history books in your local library for photographs pre-war to find what you are looking for. You may strike lucky and find a picture of your house. If that fails, you may just have to be satisfied with familiarising yourself with what would be appropriate to the period of your house (most likely wrought iron and painted black or a traditional colour).

Then take accurate measurements as to your gate opening and the width any railings should be.

You now have two choices. You could commission a bespoke set of gates and railings to be made at a local forge. Show them the photograph you have taken or the information you have found and give them your measurements – don’t skimp on gauge of materials. The Victorians used thick gauge bars. They will most likely quote for supplying and fitting. This will be the most expensive but the way to get exactly what you want. There will of course be a lead time in the manufacture of a number of weeks as welding and bending iron bars is a long process.

victorian entrance

Your other option, whichis much more affordable, is to buy a cast iron gate and set of railings that are Victorian in style but off the shelf, supplied from stock and in standard sizes. Our website has a good choice of these Victorian gates in a number of different styles and sizes, designs for which are taken from an original Victorian pattern book. The railings come in individual panels and can be cut if necessary so you should be able to find something that will fit your space, which can be delivered within the week and will be much better priced than the bespoke option.

Once your gate and railings are reinstated, your entrance will be transformed into something truly special. Take a look at our Victorian garden gates and Victorian driveway gates.

Categories: Exterior & garden   Tags: gates and railings, how to make