Repairs to an old five-barred gate in Oxfordshire

Manifest were asked to consider an old five-barred gate to a property on which we had carried out previous work.  While not an ancient artefact, the gate had acquired a fine patina over its years of life, and was much loved by the owner.  Close examination showed that decay was concentrated (as is common in these structures) at the upper joints, where water had penetrated the mortices, leading to localised decay to parts of the stiles and rails.

We therefore recommended a simple repair of these parts, on the principle of retaining existing fabric and finishes to the greatest extent possible.  Working with techniques honed on the conservation of buildings, we took the gates back to our workshop and carried out scarfed joint repairs – happily these were localised to the degree that the gates could remain substantially assembled during the works.

Joint interiors were carefully made to shed any further rainwater towards the outside, subtly fixed in place using pelleted stainless steel fixings, and then shaped to match the surrounding fabric.  After only one winter, the new oak had toned down so significantly that one must look quite hard to spot the repairs.  We also had the opportunity to re-paint the historic ironwork, leaving the gates spruce and handsome once more.