Chapter 4.3

4.3 Who made the components?

Until the 1700's the iron ties are most likely to have been made by the local blacksmith using an accepted pattern, Regional differences will be detected and even possibly the hand of the smith at work. A good example of this can be seen in Lavenham, Suffolk where the many visible L-ties all have the same characteristic spooned ends.(Fig 5.7).

Charcoal iron is still deemed to be a much better material for working by hand in the fire and it may be that the ties are more ornately made, with more features to distinguish them.

As iron production in the 1800's became more mechanised and therefore the raw product more uniform it may have been possible to buy blanks off-the-shelf and have the local smith work them to shape. These will have fewer hammer marks and be less complex in design.

Vernacular work and one-offs are still likely to be the work of the local smith but by the 1850's ironmongers were supplying the components ready made for new build and these would have been readily adopted for repairs. Newlands catalogue of 1857 admirably demonstrates this.

5. Types of iron ties

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