Every day on our wonderful adventure we’d stop and admire the fantastic antique hardware found throughout the Cotswolds area in England. It was everywhere! Almost every home had a fancy door knocker and ornate door knobs and hinges.
Many had wrought iron railings and oftentimes you’d find a boot scraper too. Not too many of them in use in the US!
You’d also find a lot of fancy treatment around the windows, lots of leading and stained glass. And we absolutely loved those “bulls-eye” windows with a 3-dimensional center and the ‘wobbly’ glass that we always look for in all windows panes and on old framed prints too! We’ve always loved antique hardware, so it was heaven for us over in the U.K.
This manor, called “The Court” had it all – lots of wrought iron, leaded glass, a unicorn, bell pull! It makes for a marvelous presentation as you reach their home.
Hubby always tries to find items from Neenah Foundry in Wisconsin. He has a ‘step’ from an old manhole, a tie clasp with their logo which has a small man-hole cover, but these old grates almost brought tears to his eyes. I think the best present I could give him would be a “Chieftan 600” for the back yard. They sure had some interesting examples. A lot of them were very old but still very legible, in spite of their purpose.
There were quite a few wall plaques, made of plaster or concrete. This was one of our favorites.
We also loved the weathered gates and fantastic fences made of famous Cotswold Stones! They have withstood the test of time and remain beautiful and functional after virtual centuries of use.
We also loved the way many would name their homes. Many years ago we owned a house with a huge weeping willow tree. My dear hubby hung a sign that he ‘carved’ that read “Willow Haven.” Our daughters, who were 10 and 12 at the time, were appalled that we’d “name our house” and discouraged their friends from seeing it. Yet when we showed them some of the wonderful signs we found on the cottages, stores and mansions, they were duly impressed. Go figure. It shows a certain sense of belonging and sometimes a sense of humor too, to name your residence. (This year we could name our home Weed Haven.”) There is a lot of character in telling folks “We live in the “Blue Heron Cottage”, or “Serendipity Manor”, don’t you think?
There is evidently a real sense of pride when you name your residence. And often, a delightful sense of whimsy!