Chapter 1.


1.4 Literature Search.

One of the first difficulties in producing a dissertation on ironwork repairs is that there is so little work actually published. The standard works of Hewett, Salzman and Brunskill all hint at the existence of ironwork repairs and indeed Brunskill gives a limited glossary much like a dictionary entry. Anecdotally, it is said that Hewett always wished to publish on this very subject but ill health prevented him. Unfortunately he left no notes.

Contemporary sources such as Neve, Price and Newlands were freely available in the Section library. There are few books devoted to wrought iron and some of these were available through the Inter-Library Loan system. However, none of the books viewed dealt with vernacular ironwork.

Internet searches on catalogues such as the British Library indicated the absence of pertinent material there, whilst browsing of The Builder and The Gentleman's Magazine gave a good insight into the understanding of materials science of the period. The internet was also used to source illustrations and localised accounts of iron production and use which could add to the general picture.

Modern companies specialising in wrought iron production and the supply of period fittings were also located through the internet.

1.5 Archive Search.

The Heritage Information Record of the Essex County Council (formerly the Sites and Monuments Record) holds over 100,000 photographs of the listed buildings of Essex. The Listed Building database shows that there are nearly 14,500 entries of which c.9,700 are shown as incorporating timber-frames. It has been the practice, because of the premium on office space, to only keep general exterior and interior views. The catalogue of the photographs does not list ironwork repairs. For this reason it was not used in this study.

2.Why do timber frames fail?

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