The Birdcage Arbour, Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire
Once upon a time, along time ago….there lived a Blacksmith named Robert Bakewell (1682 -1752). In 1706 he was engaged to build a Arbour in the gardens of Melbourne Hall. It was his first major work of art and it showed off his skills as a creative Blacksmith. The Arbour was built to overlook the main garden pond and to provide uninterrupted views over the lawns to the Hall…
Descriptively named the Birdcage it was never intended as an aviary. It is a creative and intricate construction of interlaced ironwork all decorated with entwined metal leaves and a gilt symbols.
In over 300 years the Birdcage has remained unchanged and I guess the view back to Melbourne Hall is also much the same as in 1706…still imposing.
Robert Bakewell creation of the Birdcage was only the start of a creative lifetime. His Blacksmith skills were used in Churches and Houses across Derbyshire…but along with the Birdcage I guess it is the Iron Rood Screen in Derby Cathedral are the most noteable…and yes, you can detect the same craftsman style, his handwriting so to speak, in what is a very different tribute to his skills.
The Rood Screen, Derby Cathedral
As for Melbourne Hall….well that is another piece of Derbyshire history. I will share that with you tomorrow and reveal its Australian connection.
(C) David Oakes 2016