Welcome back to Nigel’s blog!


Today, I thought I would talk a bit about ironmongery and the evolution of it over the past centuries.


black antique door knob and door handle 


Ironmongery: What is it?


The term “ironmongery”, or rather “architectural ironmongery”, is generally used to refer to the art of creating items such as locks, door handles, closers, and hinges out of iron. In recent times, ironmongery has been expanded to include hardware goods made out of plastic or metals like steel, aluminium, and brass.


Where is it from?


The use of architectural hardware for houses and other buildings has a long-standing tradition, dating back as far as 1,200 BC. But it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that ironmongery became a highly sought-after skill. Ironmongers and blacksmiths became highly valued members of the society that were paid handsome sums for their ability to create a wide variety of items.


While these days ironmongery is something that is used almost exclusively for the construction of buildings, back then it was also used to create weapons, tools, and domestic appliances.


The concept of architectural ironmongery as something that focused on building-related hardware wasn’t established until houses evolved from single-room, open-space areas to homes with several units. Rooms, for example, were now separated by doors and had their own windows. This change in interior architecture resulted in a rise of iron hardware such as locks, door handles, knobs, and hinges.


In fact, the 19th century experienced a high demand in a wider variety of hardware items and more diverse and unique patterns.


This demand was catered to especially during the industrial revolution as production, or indeed mass production, of these items experienced one of its most significant peaks. Ironmongery became more accessible, affordable and more refined in its quality due to the machine industry.


The same century also saw the rise of ironmongery as something used to decorate homes. While the primary application was still the construction of homes, churches, and other buildings, it was used more and more to adorn the outsides and insides of homes.

The introduction of postal deliveries, for example, saw an increased demand for types of door furniture like letter plates and plaques for house numbers.


Where is it now?


Even these days ironmongery is used predominantly to construct and decorate buildings.


But sadly, traditional ironmongery has seen a decline in the past years as there has been less of a demand for high-end and hand-made items. Artistic and refined iron hardware has been replaced by cheaper and more accessible products that are mass produced.


Luckily there are still a few ironmongers and businesses that put a premium on quality, individuality, and originality. They recognise ironmongery as an art form that needs to be maintained and preserved for future generations.

If you’re looking for high-quality iron hardware, including door furniture, latches, bolts, knobs, and locks, please check out a list of our products. Should you have any questions or would like some more information, please let us --know by e-mailing info@e-hardware.co.uk or giving us a call on 01206 213499.