Cast iron has been used for centuries in properties for ventilation and drainage but it’s original use would have undoubtedly been in castles as covers for wells and as walkways and bridges. In more modern times, Georgians and Victorians used cast iron grilles along pavements to allow light through to the basement below and as bridges over streams and to create steps into properties.
We now find an increasing number of architects specifying not just the utilitarian square hole gratings for steps and bridges but also the more decorative, Ecclesiastical and English Scroll gratings for more elaborate projects.
Below, we feature an installation of gratings used as steps and a bridge over a small stream. It’s an unusual combination, clients would normally require a step into a property or a walkway over a stream but not often both, but it illustrates the possibilities and the opportunities and benefits of using cast iron gratings.
The brick pillars or risers, when weathered, will blend in with the brick used around the window reveals of this stone outbuilding.
And then the gratings are fitted into the cast iron bearers onto the risers……….
In this example, the bearers are screwed into the steps and then covered with hardwood (below). Drilling is not always required, quite often, bearers are simply mortared in place – every installation is different! We have seen clients slot the gratings into rebates cut with a disc cutter into stone slabs or into existing concrete paths without using the bearers which is very effective.