Is this an architectural feature worth saving?

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Established Member
28 Aug 2016
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I went to look at a job today where the customer said they needed a new side gate, worked for them before, lovely old house.

What they are after is just a t&g arch topped gate to replace the old one that has rotted, the old one was in this frame which needs some attention but they are not really bothered about the frame, they were talking about removing it and just having a couple of normal posts on the walls to save money.

arch 1.jpg
arch 2.jpg
arch 3.jpg

I pass this house almost daily, have done all my life and always thought this doorway a bit special, but it's their house and their money and only really the side gate they take the bins out of. Like I say it's an old place and think they would rather spend money on new windows etc then patching up this old frame.

Is it just me being a bit sentimental or should I be pushing to save it?
It's all a bit subjective though, I'd be tearing it out since I think it looks hideous and not that well done but some would want to keep it.
I quite like it - looks like the faces of the arch need replacing - a job for Tricoya - and no doubt new lead capping.

I would think the added height provides a little more security.

A repair is probably just as simple as replacing the whole frame.

So general consensus so far is keep it.

Trevanion, I know what you mean, for example the curve at one side is totally different to the other but that kind of adds to the quirkiness for me, although I would have to make both sides the same which kind of defeats the object 🙃

Scholar, yes I was planning to repair it by slapping a bit of Tricoya on each side, in a traditional, sympathetic kind of way.
:)Why not just do what the customer wants?

I know, it would be easier!

Our nice little village is changing as new houses keep springing up everywhere, I am slowly realising that subconsciously I have made it my personal mission to preserve the old part of the village as much as possible.

Also the thought of screwing two 3x3s to the walls and hanging an off the peg 915mm wide gate on Tee hinges does nothing for me, that's not proper joinery 😐
I'd try and talk them into keeping it too - once things like that are gone, they are gone.

It's a nice bit of original quirkiness as you say.
Does it match the heads and jambs on the front of the house? If so, keep it. If not, get rid.
I dont see the sentimentality. It looks like cast concrete. It will make whatever new thing you put there look completely mismatched. Unless you can build another in the same style, bin it.
at the rate it's falling to bits it wont be there for long anyway.....even if u cock it up.....
take it down and use the bits in the garden......or as hardcore....hahaha....
It is made of wood, did I not mention that :rolleyes:

House not listed despite being quintessential country house, near the church, river behind it, walled garden, tennis court etc.

Owen, no it doesn't match the heads over the windows, they are the tapering brick type whatever the technical name for those are and yes I agree that is a mark against keeping it.
Does it match the heads and jambs on the front of the house? If so, keep it. If not, get rid.

Edit: sorry, didn't read "unmatching" comment; bin it, too much work/cost otherwise and owners have indicated investing other renovations.
Just to update this some of you will be happy to know the customer got their way and the quirky frame had to go :(

Here's how it's ended up although not quite finished, posts to cut off etc. Gate made from Sapele, I used different sized boards and beaded them on the outside to try and add some interest. Gate is just over a metre wide so was quite heavy, that fern in the way didn't help but I was under strict instruction not to harm it :rolleyes:

new gate 1.jpg

new gate 2.jpg