18th Century roasting range and Herald closed range for No15 Great Pultney Street

We completed this job late last year for a hotel at No15 Great Pultney Street, Bath. The building dates from 1780s but was converted into a hotel in circa 1920. In the basement the original arched recess was still present (albeit bricked up) from the original roasting range whilst the space to its right had been squared off to take a closed range at some point. Both recesses were restored and I drew up a proposal to acknowledge the two significant dates in this building history that were of significance to its new custodians.
I suggest we make a replica of a roasting range from the 1780s to honour the buliding origins and secondly to install a closed range dating from circa 1920 to recognise when the building use changed into what it is today.
I sourced a "Herald" range by Russell & Sons since the brother of the firm ran the "Iron & Marble Co" in nearby Bristol and the "Herald" and "Gradient" ranges were stocked by them so its presence in such an establishment would be likely.
The 18th century roasting range was fabricated entirely by ourselves although the budget did not allow for the level of authenticity we would have hoped for. Nonetheless we feel the overal impression is very effectively and does justice to the building providence.

Very ealry ‘Open’ Range

Now here is something that doesn't come up very often at all. It's a beautifully cast early 'open' range, called such because the firebox was open rather than the fully enclosed ranges produced later in the century. This range bridges the gap between the 18th century open down hearth ranges and the later closed type. Early cooking was preformed in a wrought iron grate, usually with adjustable cheeks with various ancillary parts like a chimney crane, spits and smoke jacks and spit jacks etc to turn them.
Here, various features of the earlier method have been retained like the adjustable cheek (used to alter the size of the fire) and chimney crane. However, the fire now features an oven and hot plates for cooking and the whole is cast into a range with fantastic classical detailing. The cheek is moved via a rack that is wound with a crank handle engaged in a socket to the bottom left of the firebox- a great detail!
I have loosely mocked this range up but will be restoring it at some point early next year unless otherwise requested. Most likely dating from around 1830-1840.

Back in Shropshire

Me and Rach were back in Shropshire again, working over this bank holiday weekend. We were there to fit the Carron Co Hobgrate I restored a while back with a black stone roundel surround that the customer supplied. I made up the slate slips and hearth on Saturday morning before we got going.
Below are a few pictures of the hobgrate going in. We still have some finishing off to do but I wanted to wait for the Lime to go off fully first. The slips and hearth will be oiled and will come up a beautiful deep satin black.
Rach couldn't resist lighting a quick fire to test the draw, the chimney drew perfectly despite the still warm weather. It must be the first time it has been used for half a century!

Late 18th Century Hobgrate

I met an interested bloke last week who was closing up shop after 100 years of business. I had originally met him to buy some tools but saw this hobgrate while I was there. It came from a nearby cottage that was demolished nearly 80 years ago and he'd had in since. It can now been seen in my shop fully restored.

Coalbrookdale hob register grate 1843

Here we have the grate from a pervious post having just got back from the blasters. The sheer amount of different cast parts on these early greats is amazing, often there are wrought bars and lugs and various rivets and square nuts holding it all together. I sometimes think it's a shame that once the grate is installed you don't get to see all the gubbins!

Carron Co Hobgrate

Here is the Carron Co hobgrate for the Shropshire property mid way through restoration. The grate is destined to be coupled with a black marble roundel surround and has two curved ribbed cast iron panels that sit on the hobs. It's a rare find and will look great once installed with a fire blazing. More on this in the next few weeks.