The Ultimate Guide to Cast Stone Gate Pillars
Whether you are considering adding cast stone gate pillars to your property or simply have a keen interest in their history and design, we have put together this blog as a valuable resource for you.
By writing this guide, our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of gate pillars that will equip you with the knowledge to make a more informed decision. We will cover everything from their benefits, the design options and installation requirements as well as their likely cost.
Firstly, gate pillars and gate posts are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. While gate posts are primarily designed for practical purposes, gate pillars go beyond just functionality. They are a work of architectural art, enhancing the visual appeal of a property and making a statement of style and sophistication.
Unveiling the Rich History and Desirable Aspects of Gate Pillars
Gate pillars hold a significant historical and architectural presence, gracing lavish estates and grand buildings worldwide. They can be seen in prominent locations, such as the majestic gates of Buckingham Palace or adorning the entrance of many stately homes.
With its rich history, gate pillars have been a defining feature of architectural design for centuries. They serve as powerful statements of wealth and importance. These pillars possess an aesthetic appeal that enhances the overall visual impact of your property.
Gate pillars have evolved over the years, adapting to various architectural styles and design trends while retaining their essential purpose.
The Benefits of Gate Pillars
The ‘Wow Factor’
Cast stone gate pillars add a wow factor to front entrances. Approximately 90% of the gate pillars supplied by Acanthus feature intricate and decorative pier caps and finials, which are far from the ordinary flat ones commonly found in the market. These eye-catching details lend a unique touch to your entrance, ensuring it stands out.
Creating an Imposing First Impression
Why limit your investment to beautiful gates made of wood or metal? By complementing gates with gate pillars, you create an imposing first impression for any visitor or passerby. The combination of well-crafted gates and perfectly matched gate pillars sets the tone for the entire property.
Bespoke Design (Make It Your Own)
One of the advantages of gate pillars is their ability to be tailored to your specific preferences and taste. A range of customisable options allow you to make your gate pillars unique and reflective of your personal style. From selecting the colour to deciding on intricate decorative elements (including custom pier caps and engraving), you can create gate pillars that are one-of-a-kind.
Adding Value to Your Property (a Quick Win)
By installing cast stone gate pillars at the entrance of your property, not only do you enhance its visual appeal, but you also increase its market value. These structures add a touch of sophistication, leaving an impression on potential buyers. Investing in gate pillars can be seen as a quick win when it comes to boosting your residential or commercial property’s overall worth.
Legal Regulations and Planning Permission
When it comes to designing gate pillars, it is crucial to consider the regulations set forth by your local council. Compliance with these regulations ensures that your project is legal and avoids any potential issues. One key aspect to consider is the height of the gate pillars.
Before proceeding with the construction of gate pillars, it is advisable to check with your local council to determine the specific height regulations in your area. In general, planning permission may be required if the height of the pillars exceeds certain limits.
If the gate pillars are intended to be over one meter in height and are situated in front of a road used by vehicles (or the footpath adjacent to such a road), or if they are over two metres high elsewhere2, it is likely that planning permission will be necessary. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and proper functionality of roads and public spaces.
If you find yourself in the position of requiring planning permission for your gate pillars, it can be helpful to bring a sample of our colour options to your planning meeting. This will allow you to display your aesthetic choices and seek approval for your design from the relevant authorities.
Gate Pillar Design Options
The design options for gate pillars are almost endless. From a sleek block design to ornate options that reflect the architectural style and period of your property whether residential or commercial.
Here at Acanthus, we offer an excellent range of cast stone gate pillars as well as bespoke options.
“We pride ourselves in offering not only stunning pillars but also the opportunity to create completely unique gate pillars. Our team of highly skilled CAD craftsmen and joiners can create a custom mould tailored to your requirements, allowing our casters to produce exquisite bespoke gate pillars.
What sets our bespoke gate pillars apart is the combination of exclusivity, exceptional craftspeople, and surprising affordability compared to alternative stone options.
For personalised gate pillars that epitomise your style, please contact our dedicated team.” Alan Smart, Director of Acanthus
Addition of Pier Caps (Caps, Finials and Tops)
For those seeking added architectural detail, the inclusion of a finial on top of pier caps can further enhance the overall appearance of the entrance to your property. Finials range from ball designs to unique and stunning options like the Pineapple and Acorn finials.
If you’d like to find out more about pier caps, head over to our previous blog the ‘Ultimate Guide to Cast Stone Pier Caps.’
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning cast stone gate pillars is essential to maintain their original appearance and ensure they stay in excellent condition. This type of maintenance provides long-lasting protection, preserving the pillars’ colour.
When cleaning cast stone gate pillars, it is important to follow key principles. Cast stone behaves similarly to natural stone, which means cleaning can reveal variations in colour due to weathering. However, careful, and gentle techniques can address this. Dirt accumulation usually is not problematic unless it contributes to decay or staining, especially at street level.
Before cleaning, preparatory measures such as removing moss and protecting surrounding areas should be taken. This can be done by using a dry sponge or a soft bristle brush to remove moss, lichen, and accumulated dirt. Care should be taken to avoid causing surface damage to the cast stone. Additionally, it is advisable to protect the surrounding area with appropriate covers, such as plastic sheeting.
Dry Brushing and Water Brushing
Dry brushing and water washing are commonly used methods. Dry brushing involves using a stiff bristle or fiberglass brush to remove light deposits like mortar. while water washing utilises the solubility of dirt with a low-pressure hosepipe and brush. Harsh methods like high-pressure hoses should be avoided.
Chemical cleaners like hydrochloric acid can be effective but require cautious use to prevent altering the stone’s colour and texture. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the stone is adequately made wet before applying any acid-based cleaners.
When cleaning, it is important to wet the stone without excessive saturation. This ensures that the cleaning process is effective without causing any potential harm. By following these guidelines, the cast stone gate pillars can be effectively cleaned and maintained, preserving their appearance and longevity.
Installation of Gate Pillars
When installing gate pillars, it is important to consider the proper procedures to ensure stability and longevity. You can add a step and fill the centre of the pillars with concrete, although at Acanthus we do not see this as essential requirement. Especially as the concrete and stone have different thermal properties and can expand and contract at different rates. To prevent unwanted vertical cracks, it is essential to use a suitable flexible membrane as an isolating medium between the stone and concrete. This membrane will accommodate the different rates of expansion and contraction, preventing any damage.
‘‘Here at Acanthus, our gate pillars are conveniently manufactured in sections that are easy to handle and install. To ensure proper fitting, mortar should be applied between these sections. Additionally, we provide a colour-matched pointing mix free of charge, specifically designed for the top 10mm of the joint. This ensures a consistent colour throughout the joint, giving a polished and cohesive appearance.’’ Alan Smart – Director at Acanthus
For heavier gate pillar sections, lifting sockets are cast into them to facilitate handling during the installation process. It is recommended to use M12 lifting loops in these sockets, although they are not supplied. These loops further assist in the safe transportation and placement of the gate pillars on-site.
Installing pier caps is a relatively straightforward task for experienced bricklayers. The caps are laid onto a bed of mortar with plastic spacers used to support the weight of large sections during the curing process.
Installation of Hanging Gates onto Gate Pillars
During the installation of hanging gates onto gate pillars, it is considered essential here at Acanthus that you use separate steel posts for larger or heavier gates, as they provide superior stability and support. Typically positioned just behind the gate pillars, these steel posts can alternatively be integrated within the stone pillar itself by creating a recessed hole through its base. This method of integration ensures a seamless and aesthetically pleasing appearance while simultaneously guaranteeing the requisite strength and durability for secure gate installation. Whether you choose to position the steel posts behind the pillars or integrate them within the base, the paramount objective is to offer a secure and visually appealing solution for hanging gates on gate pillars.
Our Standard Options
Prices for standard gate pillar products can be found on our website. Our selection of cast stone gate pillars provides a range of designs and are surprisingly affordable. For a relatively modest outlay you can really add the ‘wow factor’ to your property.
Within our standard collection, prices range from £715.00 inc. VAT up to £2,506.00 inc. VAT.
For our lower-priced option, we have the GPB Block Gate Pillar with PC2020 Pier Cap starting at £715.00 inc. VAT. These gate pillars have design elements that blend functionality, aesthetics, and affordability.
Alternatively, the GPQ Quoin Gate Pillar with FN6 Pineapple and Base is available at £2,506.00 inc. VAT. These pillars boast intricate details to further enhance your entrance.
All elements of our gate pillars can be tailored to your specifications. Please contact our friendly team as we are committed to creating gate pillars that reflect your unique style and preferences.
Choosing a Supplier
When it comes to selecting a supplier for gate pillars, it is crucial to consider factors such as the quality standards, lead times, customer reviews, and exceptional customer service. These aspects are key to ensuring that your gate pillars not only meet your aesthetic preferences but also provide long-lasting durability.
When it comes to choosing gate pillars for your property, the colour selection plays a pivotal role in achieving the desired aesthetic impact. The right colour choice can enhance the visual appeal, seamlessly blending the gate pillars with the surrounding environment and complementing the overall architectural style of your property.
We offer a choice of 8 colours that beautifully mimic natural stone. With the 8 colours available across our range of pillars, pier caps and copings, you can create a truly cohesive look for your property.
There are several options to consider that can enhance their aesthetic appeal and reflect one’s individuality. These design elements include caps, finials, and the opportunity to customise gate pillars according to your specific preferences.
We believe that quality is of utmost importance when it comes to gate pillars, as they contribute to the “wow” factor of any entrance. As a full member of UKCSA3 (United Kingdom Cast Stone Association), we adhere to rigorous industry standards to ensure the highest level of quality in our products.
All cast stone companies will need to allow for curing times when manufacturing their cast stone products. However, this is only one aspect that will impact lead times, so it is always worth checking lead times. At Acanthus, we are in control of the whole process from start to finish; we do not outsource work to contractors or third parties, so we are in control of the full design and manufacturing process. This clearly helps ensure lead times agreed are met.
Reviews, Testimonials, and Case Studies
Prior to deciding, it is advisable to take into consideration customer feedback and testimonials. Genuine experiences can offer valuable insights into a supplier’s dependability, product quality, and level of customer service. It is worthwhile to seek out suppliers who have positive reviews from their customers, as this serves as a testament to the supplier’s reputation and their dedication to providing exceptional gate pillars. For instance, here at Acanthus, we have achieved an impressive rating of 4.8 stars on Google My Business, which reflects our commitment to customer satisfaction.
Choose a supplier that excels in providing excellent customer service. A supplier who offers a comprehensive range of architectural and landscape products can assist in creating a cohesive and visually appealing overall design for your property. Exceptional customer service ensures a smooth and satisfying experience throughout the entire process, from colour and design selection to delivery and installation.
When searching for a gate pillar supplier, considering these factors will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your gate pillars meet your expectations in terms of appearance, durability, and overall quality.
Different Colours and Samples
Our range offers a selection of 8 colours that beautifully mimic the hues and tones found in natural stone. These include Portland, Ivory Bathstone, Cotswold, Yorkstone, Natural Grey, Charcoal, and Terracotta (see below).
When considering gate pillars for your property, it is crucial to carefully select the appropriate colour that will create the desired aesthetic impact. The colour choice holds the key to harmoniously integrating the gate pillars into their surroundings and complementing the style of your property.
To help you make the right colour choice, you can request a free sample. This allows you to see first-hand the resemblance to natural stone and visualise how the selected colour will harmonise with your property’s unique characteristics.
Make sure to take your sample along when attending a planning meeting with the local council.
In conclusion, this Ultimate Guide to Cast Stone Gate Pillars provides a comprehensive overview of gate pillars, encompassing their historical significance, design considerations, installation guidance, and maintenance requirements. Gate pillars are more than just functional structures, they enhance the aesthetic appeal and intrinsic value of any property. This guide equips you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make informed decisions when it comes to selecting, installing, and maintaining gate pillars, ensuring they not only enhance the style of your property but also comply with legal regulations.
We hope that this guide has helped you become more informed so that you can confidently embark on the journey of incorporating gate pillars into your own architectural landscape.
Why choose Acanthus?
“We manufacture a wide range of standard and bespoke Gate Pillars for use on projects and all our products conform to BS1217, the UKCSA Specification for Cast Stone and NBS clause F22. We are a private company and unlike most cast stone manufacturers we have no borrowings or loans, we own our factories and are a longstanding, stable and profitable business.
Our employees are paid salaries rather than piecework with the emphasis being very much on producing quality rather than quantity. We have a very experienced team of estimators, project managers, CAD draftspersons and a fully equipped joinery shop all of which we operate from 2 factories in Derbyshire.” Alan Smart – Director at Acanthus
“You can really add the wow factor to a property – it is surprisingly affordable considering the impact you get. If you are looking to create a stunning entranceway with gate pillars, then please contact the Acanthus team and we will be happy to help with all things gate pillars and cast stone.” Liz Thornton – Estimator & Online Sales at Acanthus
If you require any further information or wish to discuss bespoke gate pillars, then we are here to help. Please get in touch via this form: