The Victorian Ironmonger - passionate about our great British heritage, it's practical antiques and collectables.
When buying the main thing we look for is original design and pride of workmanship (whether made by the village blacksmith, carpenter or Victorian mass production) and a patina that only comes with years of history and use ........ we sell no reproductions.
If, like us, you are excited about finding the best of our past, be it architectural, town or country, then you've come to the right place.
Dave Thompson the business owner has been restoring period homes, properties and antiques relating to our social history for the last 40 years or so. These have included everything from a 1930's semi to a Victorian country railway station, and one the oldest village garages in the country.
The latter had a wonderful history, the building being part timber framed with many later additions, and had been in the same family for 97 years until he bought and restored it.
It was here in 1993, and "living above the shop", that Dave established The Victorian Ironmonger, selling architectural antiques, pine furniture, and rural bygones. With a passion for the old skills associated with a bygone era, he began to specialise in restoring and selling antique door furniture, winning the BBC Homes & Antiques magazines, Friendly Antiques Shop award in December 2001. Whilst travelling the country sourcing antiques for the shop, he found a sadly neglected Elizabethan, timber framed farmhouse for sale and just had to save it.
This with it's 17th Century timber framed barn, 18th Century stone granary (this now houses the shop and Dave's private museum of working class life) and Victorian cow sheds has truly tested his restoration skills. It became so time consuming that eventually, and regrettably, the old garage was sold and the business ceased. In 2006 however with restoration work on the farm easing, he decided to start the business again. Now with the benefit of the internet his collection of antique door furniture, bygones and automobilia are available worldwide. It is this experience that gives Dave the understanding of the best from our past.
He loves what he does and has been around long enough to know what quality and customer service actually means. All of our original items are lovingly restored by him here in beautiful South Shropshire.
There is no substitute for the real thing, you simply can't recreate age with modern materials. All of our original antique door fittings are as they were made by the local blacksmith (nearly every village had one) from wrought iron, or in the later Victorian factories in a variety of other materials, but now with the patina only possible by use over centuries. Some items will have wear but we sell nothing that isn't serviceable and good for another lifetimes use, hence our money back guarantee.
I'm sure we've all seen otherwise superb property restorations marred by the use of inferior reproduction fittings, it's the detail that makes all the difference.
Due to the scarcity & unique nature of the stock we hold, we can never guarantee to supply quantities, matching sets or repeats. Most items are simply one-offs never to be seen again (although we're always happy to search for you, if you send us your wants list).
Brass items are supplied polished and unlacquered. All ironwork is given a protection against rust, this acts as a primer for painting if desired. Please read descriptions for any deviation to the above.
Remember we sell only absolutely correct & original antiques.
We are delighted to welcome customers old and new, BY APPOINTMENT, to our Elizabethan farmhouse & ancillary buildings to view our stock of period house fittings and associated antiques.
We are happy to freely advise on your door furniture problems or offer advice as to the correct fittings for your property. We constantly search for additional stock, if you have similar items surplus to requirements please contact us.
We are here to help.
"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It is unwise to pay too much, but it is also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot... It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." Attributed to John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)