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The History of the Fireplace & its Accessories

The History of the Fireplace & its Accessories
By Georgina Wilson 2 years ago 937 Views No comments

Fireplaces through the ages have been essential for people in their daily lives and have had a range of uses. They have been used to cook food for centuries, as well as being used to provide warmth. The main use of fireplaces has evolved through the ages as new technologies have been invented. The invention of the cast iron stove, by Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, began to revolutionise the way food was cooked and soon evolved into ways to heat water, which led to the introduction of central and hot water heating systems.

In the last 100 years, the use of the fireplace has changed further, with a move towards more conventional ways of cooking with the introduction of the stove range in the early 1850s. Fireplace designs changed rapidly throughout the next century, becoming both smaller and more fuel efficient.

Despite the fireplace changing in appearance throughout the years, they still have one sole purpose, to provide heat! Nowadays, most fireplaces in older homes no longer work and therefore add to the decor and style within the home. While the main use of the fireplace has evolved over the centuries, the hearth remains a beaming symbol of the home.

Fireside Accessories

Here at Black Country Metal Works, we aim to offer a range of designs and styles of fireside accessories to suit all home interior decor designs. From traditional iron companion sets to modern stainless-steel sets, our range is extensive. Fireside tools were traditionally made from wrought iron and hand forged by a blacksmith. They were more of a necessity, a way to stoke the fire to keep the home warm. Now, not only are these tools used to stoke the fire, they can also be seen as a statement piece, a sign of having a fully furnished home.

Whether you use your fire regularly or not so often, ensure you have the correct tools for the job and shop our companion set range here. Companion sets also make great gifts for family and friends!

It’s not just companion sets that have became popular fireplace accessories. The andirons, better known as a firedog, was an essential part of the fireplace before the introduction of fire baskets. Dating back to 17th century BC, firedogs were traditionally made from clay, but materials and designs have changed over time, resulting in the more ornate designs we see today. Firedogs were essential within the fireplace surround and worked by placing logs between two firedogs to allow air to circulate and allow for better burning, whilst also reducing the amount of smoke produced.


The designs of firedogs ranged from traditional iron to ornate brass and bronze. The introduction of the fire grates in the 18th century removed the need for firedogs, but due to the ornate design, were kept for decorative reasons. You can shop our firedog range here.

Fireguards and Screens

Traditionally, fire screens were used to help control the heat of the fire and allow the heat to be emitted more evenly around the room. These days, you are more likely to see a fire guard or screen being used to prevent sparks flying onto your carpet, or to stop logs rolling out of the fireplace. There are many types of fireguards or screens on offer, and the one you may require can depend on the type of open fire you have.

The safety of pets and children is also a priority when choosing your screen or guard. We offer a range of guards that can be fixed to the wall to prevent anyone getting too close, ensuring that dangers are kept to a minimum. Choose from a range of designs, from the traditional to the ornate. There is something to match all home decors as well as a range of sizes. If you can’t see the required size, we offer a bespoke service to ensure you get something that fits! Discover our range here.

Our selection of accessories does not end here. We have a wide range of hand crafted log and kindling holders, as well as a selection of quality coal hods and buckets. Kit out your fireplace here.

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