New gates & Ironwork Restoration for Barnes Park, Sunderland

We worked with main contractor Brambledown on this restoration project of Barnes Park in Sunderland. The works comprised of a full Heritage Lottery funded Restoration plan for all aspects of the park. This scheme included various forms of hard and soft landscaping as well as civil engineering and took 18 months to complete.

After a two year bidding process, Sunderland City Council secured over £3 Million to restore the historic features and to redevelop its amenities for future generations, the restoration has included the canon, bandstand, railings and the park gates, as well as developing the park for all to enjoy with play spaces for all ages and a sensory garden, bringing Barnes Park right into the 21st Century, whilst also restoring its precious heritage.

We were awarded the contract for the restoration of the railings and to make new gates, using wrought and cast iron and traditional techniques of construction. The gates in situ in 2008, when we first started to look at this project, where a recent addition made of a welded construction in mild steel, their condition was such had there was no way they could be economically repaired and the design did not relate to the railings and historical photos. The new gates design and materials was agreed and they were made to match the original railings.

A brief history of the park.

Sunderland’s Barnes Park, a key part of the city’s heritage for more than 100 years, has been rejuvenated with Heritage Lottery funding. The land for Barnes Park, set in a beautiful valley through which the Bishopwearmouth Burn flows, was originally bought for the princely sum of £8,500 in 1904!  Three years later, when the depression of trade struck in 1907, the laying out of the park was started – this became a source of employment for a number of practical gardeners from the area, with a total of 2,798 men being employed. The park was then opened in August 1909.  Many of the established trees were retained with oak, ash, beech and elm trees constituting its main wooded growth. Paths meandered throughout the park in all directions and at the west side, on the most elevated piece of ground, two bowling greens, with time taking its toll, the time has come for new life for the old.


Client: Sunderland County Council

Year: 2010

Material: Wrought Iron

Main Contractor: Brambledown