Escape…… to Church


The roof of a rather fabulous ‘Bird Cage’.  The creation of Ironsmith Robert Bakewell.  Bakewell created this structure in the period between 1706-08. Obviously never a real Bird Cage, purely a fantasy piece for the Gardens


The structure can be found in the Gardens of Melbourne Hall, South Derbyshire and cost the owners of the Hall the grand sum off £120.

From across the Lake it looks grand, but it is only up close that you can admire Robert Bakewell’s iron skill and detailed artistry.


The Bird Cage was perhaps the creation that brought Bakewell’s skill to the attention of a wider audience.  Across Derbyshire, and nearby area, there are many examples of his craftsmanship…  mainly Wrought Iron Gates for place of note, all decorated in similar styles.

But one creation stands out above them all.  It is the Rood Screen at The Cathedral Church of All Saints, Derby.


It was constructed a few years after the Bird Cage and according to the records, cost £157.  I know that was back in the 18th century and inflation has occurred, but it has also been suggested that Bakewell, despite his skills and fame, never made a fortune.  His attention to detail and exacting standards extended the production construction timescale.

As for the Melbourne Hall itself.  It has been a family home for many centuries.  Its most famous resident was William Lamb, later 2nd Viscount Melbourne, Prime Minister, and confidant of Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria naming the capital of Australia’s State of Victoria after him.


Wherever you are in this World……

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

11th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

5 thoughts on “Escape…… to Church

    • With Lazer Cutting and Computer Graphics we tend to take for granted what can be achieved in design and build today. But hand crafting in hot metal must have been a real skill…… and they still stand as outstanding achievements today.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Such beauty wrought in iron. That was something my father would have loved to do when he retired from a lifetime in steel! Sadly he didn’t live long enough to realise his dream.
    The photos are beautiful.


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