Conserving and sharing the unique history of Oxford's Railings


The history of Oxford's Railings

Before the Second World War, traditional iron railings were an important feature of many of Oxford’s Victorian and Edwardian houses. These railings were an important part of the public sphere, allowing views into the landscaped front gardens from tree-lined streets. Many of these railings were removed in the Second World War, and the timber patterns from which they were cast were lost. This meant it was no longer possible to put the railings back, because the knowledge and tools have been lost. That’s where we stepped in…

An image of black cast-iron traditional railings against a backdrop of greenery

Bringing the railings back to life

We launched a project to re-create the original timber cast patterns to allow for these traditional railings to be re-created and installed in Oxford once more. Hand-cast patterns tailed to different neighbourhoods were created: Park Town, Southmoor/Kingston Road and Norham Manor. Together with Oxford City Council, we brought together all the information you need in a new railings guide, which can be downloaded below. If you are interested in restoring your railings, contact the City Council Conservation Team for more information on railing design and contractors and to discuss what consent might be required. Afterwards, contact OPT to check whether your pattern is available.

Two people pouring liquid iron