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Sunday, 3 April 2022

What ARE These?

 When we sold our end of The Folly in Settle to the museum next door we did our best to include in the sale all of the items that were unique or special to The Folly.   Among other things we left two wrought iron wall fittings, the likes of which we had never seen before or since.

Their purpose was, and still is, unclear.  They are a pair of Y shaped irons, the bases of which are iron pegs which sit in iron rings set into a wall.  The can turn in those rings to some extent.  Nearer their tops they have iron rings set into them in quite an ornate but loose way.  Those rings attach to substantial iron chains which in turn are attached to more fixed rings on the wall above.  The lengths of these chains are variable, so making the angle to the wall of the entire fitment adjustable. 

On top, between the two arms of the Y is a semi-round iron basket.  The baskets are hinged on two opposite sides.  A heavy piece of decorative ironwork below each basket ensures that they hang perfectly level, whatever angle is chosen for the 'upright' part of the Y shape.  Got that?  I doubt it but the pictures below should help:

At The Folly we had mounted them on a rustic wooden screen between the main lounge on the ground floor which separated off the small kitchen.   That room had become the splendid cafeteria on the now just one-grand-house, The Folly.  The ground floor of 'our' north range has been adapted to its new use and happily the rustic wooden screen is still there - but the wrought iron things were removed as they were in the way slightly but, more importantly they could come adrift and fall on somebody.

For years they have been stored in the space below the Folly tower, literally gathering dust.  The Folly Trust had tried to identify their purpose and even offered them for sale locally online.  There were no ideas and no offers.  Perhaps unsurprising - they are heavy, large and hardly the sorts of thing that would fit in with anything in a modern home.  Besides which they are literally use-less.

Even so, they are curious, unique (should that be bi-nique as they are a pair?) and somebody went to a good deal of expense and trouble to make them.  In the absence of any takers, I had said that they might fit in the quirky surroundings of the water tower and so it has come to pass.  We have put them either side of one of the west facing windows in the tower's main room, as in the photographs.

Nowadays you can post a photograph online and seek comparisons.  That throws up similar items called 'prams' or 'landiers' but both, though similar, are fireplace irons, set at ground level for drying logs.  None of them online is pivoted for vertical mounting like these.

So, over to you - what ARE these self-levelling iron baskets for?


  1. My guess would be a modern reproduction of a mediaeval wall light. Similar designs are available online.

    1. Thank you for that suggestion. What would be the light source in a mediaeval wall light?


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