Open & Closed Ranges

Open & Closed ranges

Cast iron open ranges preceeded closed ranges and are called such because the fire itself is not enclosed by cast iron plates like their more contemporary cousins. These ranges are a direct evolution from downhearth cooking of the preceding centuries, the main difference being that a single fire could provide heat for cooking meat, baking bread and boiling water. Previously three different fires might have to be lit to provide these services and all of which were heavy consumers of fuel. Much of the earlier cooking equipment could still be used with open ranges like the chimney crane, idle backs and spits etc. The Yorkshire ranges were both ‘open’ types and were being produced up until the early 20th century. The earliest range of this type I have restored was cast in 1812 but the first patent for an open range was taken out by Thomas Robinson in 1780.
A full restoration service is available as well as fully approved HETAS fitting.

Closed ranges were considered a break through in domestic technology and first began to appear during the middle of the 19th century. Models were shown off at Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851 and the ‘Eagle Range’ cast by Sidney Flavel was awarded one of only 17 gold medal handed out during the event.
The firebox of these ranges is fully enclosed with an adjustable cast iron hot plate above. The exhaust is guided around and over the roasting oven and beneath the baking oven before exiting up the chimney making economical use of all the heat produced. It was still generally regarded that meat cooked in front of the fire was of superior taste to that enclosed in an oven so closed ranges could be converted into open ranges by removing the hot plate, dropping the fire bars and opening the damper box. A ‘hastener’ or Dutch oven would then be situated in front and a ‘bottle jack’ (a clockwork rotating mechanism) would turn the meat within.
A full restoration service is available as well as fully approved HETAS fitting.

  • Full restoration service available
  • Grit blasting and traditional ‘black lead’ polishing
  • Supply of technical drawings of ranges and installation
  • Repalcement of fire stones in the fire box
  • Welding repairs and fabrication of missing pieces
  • Supply of new parts inc fire bars, grates, doors, trivets, ash pans, hot plates/ hobs, cast sheet and most other parts upon request.
  • Full pattern making serivce for missing parts
  • Grey iron, SG iron, brass and bronze castings available
  • Nickel plating and vitreous enamelling service available
  • Full HETAS fitting available