Fountain Reflections


The ‘Spin’ Fountain

Spin water feature, Hertfordshire, Arcangel

Stainless Steel Spin water feature.

With Julie Toll masterminding the overall design of the Manor House gardens, Arcangel returned to the house once again to work with Julie on the next project, the ‘Spin’ fountain.

An existing water feature in the flower & vegetable garden, was relocated to another area and the client commissioned Arcangel to design a water feature that would have height and standing with the aims of being able to ‘see through’ the structure. The keyword for this project being ‘grativas’.

Having presented various designs for the feature, the client was immediately drawn to the Spin Fountain, which we took away to develop further.

Our choice of material was stainless steel, we had to go back to old school techniques in order to develop the design using this material, to the set budget. Modern technology tends to lead to using programmes such as CAD design, or laser cutting to produce modern sculptures, but Arcangel embrace a more artisan approach for their bespoke metalwork, using traditional welding skills and producing everything by hand.

Arcangel are passionate about hand crafting metal sculptures, as this gives a more natural effect that modern workings are unable to capture. The old school ways of hand and hand tools, produces the desired natural effect. You need to be confident in your ability with these methods, in order to be able to overcome any problems that may arise when using these old school techniques. It’s part of the challenge and excitement in the unique work that we do.

On initial viewing the fountain is very simplistic in design, composing of 4 main elements. However, amazingly the complexity of 4000 individual elements are hidden from view to create this simplistic impression.

We based this design on the Fibonacci sequence. We hadn’t used this sequence before, but we felt that as these ratios are often seen in nature (think snail shell), it would work for our sculpture, subconsciously the shapes would look natural in the garden environment.


Fibonacci ssequence, bespoke metalwork, Arcangel Ltd

Fibonacci sequence used in the Spin Fountain design

With water being a significant source that nourishes all areas of the garden, it was symbolic that the water feature could be seen from all sections of the garden, with all garden paths flowing to the central focal point. The Spin fountain was framed perfectly and created a strong, representative and dominant presence.

Challenges of Metal Sculptures

One of the less obvious skills when welding is being able to predict the movement of the metal when subjected to heat, this is particularly true of stainless steel. With years of experience Arcangel can pre-empt this movement when welding, to achieve a desired shape.

With a lot of patience and dedication, it took a period of 2 people 8 weeks to make, totalling 720 man hours.  When finished, the feature was even better than we had hoped for!

Once installed in its pride of place, we loved the presence it gave to the garden. It’s thanks to working with a designer that has a strong vision and a clear brief that we could follow through on, that our ‘Spin Feature’ fitted the brief perfectly and went beyond its expectations.

It was different, we hadn’t seen anything like this before, it leaves a lasting impression which is probably why it has earned many admirers since taking its place, including a feature on Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Love Your Garden’ TV programme in 2015.

The garden will be open to the public on Sunday 22nd May 2016, visit for more information.

For further details on water features that we can design for you, contact us to discuss further.

Spin water feature at night, Hertfordshire, Arcangel

Spin Water Feature


Inspirational Metal Garden Gates


‘Peacock’ Metal Garden Gates

Bespoke Metal Gates, Arcangel Ltd, Hertfordshire

Peacock Metal Gates, Hertfordshire, Arcangel Ltd

The landscape of Hertfordshire with its far-reaching views can be admired throughout the year and seasons, but is particularly magical in winter. Within this setting, a Tudor House with three and a half acres of immaculately designed gardens, graces the landscape. It was in this idyllic setting, Arcangel Ltd were able to create two metal garden gate designs for the enchanting gardens, reflecting the existing garden imagery.

Julie Toll an outstanding and well respected Garden Designer, contacted Arcangel to arrange to meet at The Manor House, with a view to creating a set of bespoke metal garden gates to the front of the house. The client’s brief for the garden gates was to be able to maintain the existing wall garden structure and shape, working to the height and symmetry of the wall.

Gate Design

Peacock Gate design, bespoke metalwork, Arcangel Ltd

Original drawings for gates by Arcangel Ltd

With views that stretch out over the magnificent countryside, the setting played an important part of the design for this garden.  In fact, one country character appeared on cue as if to lend it’s fine display as an inspiration for the design – The Peacock. Renowned for their superb, beautiful tall, tail feather displays, and series of ‘eyes’ on display when fanned, the design was born.

We provided several metal gate designs to Julie, the Peacock design being a strong, clear winner.

The imposing pair of stainless-steel ‘Peacock gates’ were created and installed, fanning out into the existing structures between the posts and the curved wall. Maintaining the height of the wall, being a strong structural design, yet not solid, the gates indulge their surroundings and entice you to look what lies beyond.

Garden Side Gates

Bespoke Pear Gates, Bronze and Stainless Steel, Hertfordshire, Arcangel

Bespoke metal Pear Gates by Arcangel Ltd

The next set of bespoke metal gates that we were asked to create were for the entrance to the kitchen garden.

The gate designs needed to compliment the simple natural beauty of the garden, the garden elements should relate closely with structures surrounding them. We wanted to capture the sophistication of the structural forms, the simple planting and strong geometric shapes that gave this garden its elegance.

We took nature’s lead and designed a set of steel garden gates in the shape of espalier pear trees, creating an enticing entrance to the kitchen garden.

Attention to detail, fine craftsmanship and quality materials, were key in recreating the patterns and formations of the trees and their delicate leaves. The metal gates represent the heart and soul of the kitchen garden, and when opened lead you onto an enchanting path.

The garden will be open to the public on Sunday 22nd May 2016, visit for more information.

If you are considering bespoke metal gates for your home or garden, contact us to discuss further.

As featured in February 2016 issue of House and Garden