Piece Hall, Halifax | gates

Description: A unique pair of gates that had a major transformation from black and white to full colour allowing the detail of the particularly high quality cast panels to be once again appreciated in full.

Grade I listed South Gates at Piece Hall were made in 1871 by George Smith & Co, Sun Foundry, Glasgow, who were well known makers at the time, and who made the still extant gates for the market building at St Peter Port on Guernsey. Constructed using wrought iron frames with intricate and elaborate cast iron panels they are of considerable size and weight. When The Ironwork Studio surveyed the gates they were in need of a complete overhaul, with rust-jacking having taken hold between the frame and the panels, and the top hinges in a state of failure. What was particularly interesting was that due to the nature and high quality of the castings it was believed that previously these gates would have been painted using colour and not the existing predominantly black and white scheme. This was because without colour the full effect of the design could not be appreciated. The question the conservation team asked themselves was ‘why would you produce such a design, with superb detail, and then paint it black?’ As a result, research was carried out into historical and related colour schemes to inform the colour palette to be used for the current restoration.

Service: Condition and Recommendation Reports + New Colour Scheme

Client: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Location: Piece Hall, Halifax