Important Message

Dear Customer,

After 123 years of trading, Charles Butcher and Co Ltd, and its operating company, Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd, are ceasing trading. This has not been an easy decision but the board believes that it is the right time to do so and is in the best interests of the shareholders. This is a planned closure and the companies are wholly solvent.

Current orders will be honoured but we will be unable, unless specifically agreed, to take on any new work.

To enable the closure to happen as smoothly as possible, we have entered into an agreement to try and transfer work to Canlin Castings Ltd. They are a similar foundry to Durham Foundry offering the same range of material grades, quantities and weights. Their details are:-

Canlin Castings Ltd,
North Street,
Langley Mill,
NG16 4DF

Tel: 01773 715412

The contact there, to discuss how work may be transferred, is David Carlin who can be contacted at

If you wish to discuss anything regarding the closure, please contact me on 0114 249 4977 or email me at

Mike Naylor
Chairman and Managing Director
Charles Butcher and Co Ltd and Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd

Durham Foundry Logo
ISOQAR Registered & UKAS Management Systems

Certificate Number 8140

ISO 9001 | ISO 14001

Architectural Castings

Iron castings have been used in architectural designs for over 400 years. The Georgian and Victorian periods saw a surge in the use of cast iron for architectural projects, the high point being the late Victorian era. Everywhere you look in the towns, cities and villages of Great Britain you will see examples of the use of cast iron whether it be railings round a church yard, the parapet on a bridge or a cast iron lamp post. 

Diverse Cast Iron

The ability to cast complex and decorative shapes in cast iron has led to this diversity and modern architectural projects still use this material. The introduction of ductile cast iron in the late 50’s opened up a whole new market for architectural castings as this new version of cast iron added mechanical properties close to mild steel to the existing properties of cast iron. This resulted in applications where strength and toughness were required, combined with the aesthetic appeal of cast iron. Call Durham Foundry on 0114 249 4977 to discuss your Architectural Castings & Architectural Cast Iron project.

Architectural Cast Iron At Durham Foundry

At Durham Foundry we have been producing architectural iron castings for over a hundred years. As well as castings for the architectural market, our customer base also covers the engineering, decorative, and artistic sectors and we can supply castings from one off up to small to medium batch production using Alkali Phenolic resin bonded sands.

Architectural Specifications

Our workforce of highly skilled moulders can work from complex loose pattern equipment, particularly where low volumes are required, whilst our moulding line is suited for batch production. Our long trading history, coupled with an investment programme that has enabled us to keep up with modern production methods and environmental legislation has meant that we have been involved with many architectural projects and continue to do so. All our architectural iron castings are produced to a current ISO specification, ISO 185 2005 for grey iron or ISO 1083 2004 for ductile iron, along with any further certification which a customer may require.

Architectural Applications

Our diverse customer base has also given us experience in a wide range of applications for iron castings beyond the architectural market, including pumps and valves, forges, foundries and rolling mills, automotive and aerospace, a wide range of OEM’s, quarries and mines, railways and rolling stock, local authorities and artists and sculptors.

We also have long term trading relationships with local pattern makers, machine shops and surface finishers which enable us to quote for the complete supply of machined and painted castings.

Architectural Cast Iron Range

The range of architectural castings that Durham Foundry produces falls into two main categories. Firstly we produce castings for new projects. These can be modern designs working in conjunction with architects and designers or more traditional projects, often being replicas of existing pieces. Secondly we have been involved with the restoration of existing cast iron structures, such as a bridge, bandstand, greenhouse or large cast iron fireplace. In this case the existing structure is dismantled, castings that are in good condition are conserved and replacements made for any that require renewing.

The castings are then cleaned, painted and re-assembled. Our involvement with this type of project has led to a long term relationship with Casting Repairs Ltd, Chesterfield, England who are a company that specialise in the dismantling and repair of old cast iron buildings and structures. Because of the historical nature of most of these projects we are used to working with organisations such as English Heritage to ensure that the work is carried out to the correct standard.

Pattern Equipment

One problem that can occur, particularly when replacing old architectural castings is the question of pattern equipment. For all the castings we produce, we would normally require a wooden pattern to mould off. This is essentially a wooden replica of the casting that is required, constructed to suit our moulding processes. Often, the castings we need to replace have intricate detail on them which is expensive to reproduce in wood, usually involving the services of a wood carver. To solve this problem our highly skilled moulders can sometimes use an original casting as the pattern. It is not possible to do this in all cases and, because the moulding time will be higher that using a wooden pattern, does give a more expensive casting. However for small quantities of a suitable casting this can be more cost effective than making a pattern.

We are also happy to provide advice on the suitability of cast iron and ductile iron for architectural projects and arrange site meetings to discuss the restoration or repair of an existing structure or piece.

Any questions to do with Iron castings?

Get in touch

Durham Foundry are a new supplier for us. The relationship has been overwhelmingly positive.

They have a desire to solve problems and deliver quality castings on time. We look forward to working with them for years to come.

Tim Dockerty

Director - SVR&D Ltd