As the Covid-19 Pandemic hopefully looks to be under greater control, it enablesCotswold Decorative Ironworkers, based at Marsh Farm near Shipston-on-Stour, to continue full speed into its fifth decade of business.
CDI produce a comprehensive range of quality decorative metalwork that includes estate and deer park fencing, classic entrance gates, tree guards, bridges and bespoke commissions. The client base serves private and public estates, parks and blue-chip housing estates all over the UK. It has been active in recent years in the Republic of Ireland, the USA, Japan and continental Europe. Its products, all designed in the UK, have become market leaders. The company draws on over 35 years’ experience originating in the architectural salvage business; hence its expertise in a design was drawn from the 18th and 19th centuries. CDI’s team take care of the whole process, from quote, to survey to order processing, with hand-drafted drawings produced if needed. Six teams of fitters are available follow with installation. CDI uses hot dip galvanized solid steel, and large stocks underpin the company’s preeminence so client demands can be met both quickly and efficiently.
It is a specialist in servicing organizations concerned with the heritage and conservation sectors. These include the National Trust, the Woodland Trust, and English heritage. For example, CDI has worked extensively at TyntesfieldNational Trust in Somerset amongst many other prominent sites. AtTyntesfield it has undertaken four main projects with a fifth starting shortly. The latest project at the Rose Garden will provide the eighth different style of fencing, six of the eight have been entirely bespoke undertakings made to match historical and existing settings. “We have a great working relationship with Tyntesfield, Lisa – The Gardens & Outdoor Manager for the Bristol Area – is always diligent in her planning, it has been about 15 years that we have worked with Lisa on various properties. The projects always provide an exciting challenge for all areas of our team” say CDI Contracts Manager Pete Boulton.
A nearby project is the Bishops Knoll Project. This is a 19th Century Victorian walled garden that has been under restoration for the past 10 years by a dedicated team of Woodland Trust staff and volunteers. Site Manager Joe Middleton says “Bishops Knoll has been reclaimed by nature, but we’re preserving the hidden Victorian features as well as the magic and the sense of wildness that you can discover here on the edge of the city.”
They have revealed terraced walls and paths from the now-demolished grand house on the side of the Avon Gorge in the Stoke Park area of Bristol. The task force has cleared undergrowth, rebuilt walls, repaired Victorian railings and opened up more terraces to the public. The wrought iron railings have been supplied by Cotswold Decorative Ironworkers. The site’s history dates back to a former medieval deer park with a mix of native broadleaf trees including enormous pollarded veteran oaks.
A refuge for wildlife is being recreated providing a breathing space for local people and the wider community. In spring 2020 staff, volunteers and contractors cleared much of the vegetation and ivy growth around the terraced gardens in time for the wall rebuilding, along the arboretum walk and Victorian pleasure paths – ready for the railing restoration. CDI repaired and replaced over 150 metres of Victorian wrought iron railings. Volunteers removed the old railings and salvaged what was re-usable. After installation, they treated and painted the railings to finish the restoration work along the terraces and pleasure paths.
A new wildflower meadow is being created at the NationalTrust’s Lacock Abbey near Chippenham in Wiltshire. The land was once part of a water garden created by John Ivory Talbot. But these were filled in and the land merged into neighbouring fields for grazing. New fencing, supplied by Cotswold Decorative Ironworkers has re-enclosed part of the field, which will now be managed as a wildflower meadow. Mown paths will encourage visitors to stroll through the meadow, which will be left to develop naturally over time, Facilities Manager Andy Webster adds “This was a project where the historical element was of the utmost importance, CDI worked closely with us on all aspects of the exacting design and planning requirements. As we approached the installation date the Covid19 Pandemic hit throwing all the plans into disarray. CDI were incredibly flexible and provided everything we needed quickly and efficiently to reinstate the works in order to hit our new deadlines. Their work quality and understanding of the site requirements was of the highest standards”