About

About Us

Heritage and History of Ironwork of Distinction

Ironwork of Distinction Limited was established by Ken Fanner, who holds the prestigious position of Master Blacksmith within the company.  Ken's craft skills for high-quality ironwork, is resultant of the Fanner family's pedigree and tradition for blacksmithing of over 75 years, since 1938.  Ken's Father, the late Mr R.J. 'Bob' Fanner, was a well-esteemed resident Blacksmith at H. King & Sons for 43 years.  Here, Bob offered his craftsmanship as the Master Blacksmith to a diversity of clientele, including both households and country estates, as well as, local authorities, farms and other craftsmen before establishing his own forge at Broomhill, near Wimborne in 1982.  This forge was the very place where Ken (as his father’s only ever apprentice) acquired and developed his passion and artistic talent for blacksmithing, working alongside his father.

In 1988, alongside Ken’s apprenticeship, he attended further training under Mr. Paul Allen LWCB, FWCB, concentrating on ornate and delicate forge work, extending the Fanner’s tradition from agricultural blacksmithing to new fields.  In 1991, Ken was awarded by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths for his standard of work after completing the training with Mr. Allen.  Also later that year he won the Dorset Enterprise Livewire competition for new business, as he expanded the family business into high-end ironwork and restoration work.

In 1991, Ken was awarded his first solo contract from the Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, the late Mrs. M. A. Martin OBE of Crichel Estate, near Wimborne, to restore a set of 17th century Italian gates.  This piece of craftsmanship became the catalyst and spring board to diversify into the more ornamental period work that we offer today through Ironwork of Distinction.

In 1996, Ken again won the Dorset Enterprise Livewire competition for expanding the business into new fields of business, receiving awards from the Mayor of Bournemouth on both occasions.

From the 19th January 2017, the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths award of a Diploma of Merit to  Ken, which entitles him to use the qualification AWCB as an Associate of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths after his name. Our high standard of quality blacksmithing services now span across the UK and includes individualistic and bespoke design, manufacture and installation of traditional and contemporary ironwork to both private individuals and commercial sectors.​

If you are interested in any of our work or would like a consultation to find the solution to an item you need designed and crafted, then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Preserving Family Traditions Since 1938