Great gates

The day after  walking in William Wade’s footprints around Chichester, we drove north to the town of Petworth. The small town is dominated by the huge house on the hill, now managed by the National Trust. I was interested to see the newly restored grand wrought iron gates, known as the Tijou gates.

They were originally commisioned by the then owner Lord Leconfield in the 1860s and 1870s as part of a series of “improvements” at that time.  The company who were commisioned to make the gates were named in the documents found in the House Archive: ‘Wr Iron Gates for Park Entrance for the Rt Honl. Lord Leconfield’ by Brawn and Downing, 64 Clement Street, Birmingham 

Brawn and Downing was the company of my great, great, great grandfather Joses Weaver Downing. I first posted about him three years ago when I first discovered his work as a metal worker.

It was exciting to stand beside these magnificent gates, and know my great, great, great grandfather had a hand in their design and making.

In 1867 Joses Weaver Downing, the metal worker from Birmingham, became the father-in-law of William Wade from Chichester, when William married his daughter, Catherine Matilda. How they met I have yet to discover!

More about the history of the gates and their recent restoration can be found here.


3 responses to “Great gates

  1. I am so glad to see these beautiful gates finished!!

  2. Goodness Cilla, what an interesting family you have! I enjoyed your last post about the teachers too. It’s hard to make much out of my bunch of peasants!

    • I have been surprised just how much I have been able to piece together without leaving my armchair! The power of the Internet…
      Access to census returns and trade directories can reveal a lot. Always good to actually visit the places too.

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