Wrought Iron Finials: The History and Function Behind These Ornamental Pieces

Wrought Iron Finials: The History and Function Behind These Ornamental Pieces

Wrought iron finials have been a staple in architectural design for centuries, adding a touch of elegance and grandeur to rooftops and structures. These ornamental elements serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose, making them popular among architects and homeowners alike.

At Amazing Gates, our wrought iron garden gates for sale come in various designs, including those with finials. We’ll take a brief stroll through the history of finials and their function.

Finials: Ancient Times

The word finial is derived from the Old French ‘fin’ and Latin ‘finis,’ meaning end. These decorative end pieces are seen adorning everything from curtain rods to garden gates, but they originated as rooftop designs.

The history of wrought iron finials can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who adorned their buildings and rooftops with intricate ironworks.

During the Medieval period is where wrought iron finials gained prominence. European cathedrals and castles featured elaborate finials atop their towers, serving as both a decorative and functional element. This is where we begin seeing Gothic finials featuring gargoyles and other mythical creatures.

Finials: Renaissance and Victorian Eras

During the Renaissance, wrought iron finials evolved in design and function. The Italian Renaissance brought about a newfound interest in classical architecture, and finials became essential to the overall aesthetic.

The Victorian era brought a revival of Gothic architecture, and we began seeing simple finials such as balls and spikes combined with intricate heraldic and floral designs.

Finials: Modern Times

Today, wrought iron finials continue to be a sought-after architectural feature. From residential homes to commercial buildings, finials can be seen gracing rooftops, gates, and fences.

The function of wrought iron finials has expanded beyond just rooftops. They can also be found on flagpoles, lamp posts, and even curtain rods. Their versatility and timeless appeal make them versatile for adding a touch of elegance to any architectural design.

Function of Finials

The function of finials has remained primarily unchanged throughout time. They serve as decorative elements whose design can also bring protection and prestige.


Throughout history, one of the main functions of finials was to serve as decorative elements to buildings and structures. From simple spires to mythical creatures, people worldwide have been using finials to adorn their spaces.

Weather Barrier

Rooftop metal finials became popular as lightning rods to protect buildings from fires. Another popular finial is weathervanes that used to help people see which way the wind was blowing.

Finials also keep posts and pillars from becoming weathered while keeping the rain and snow from seeping into structures.


Wrought iron finials offer the perfect opportunity to provide added security to gates and fencing. By combining the strength of iron with pointed designs such as spikes and arrows, you can make it harder for intruders to climb over.

When looking for wrought iron garden gates for sale that offer beauty with enhanced security, contact Amazing Gates to speak to one of our design specialists!


From ancient times to modern eras, people used finials to indicate their wealth and status. Much of this was because finials were expensive to make and produce in the past, meaning that one had to have wealth to have such creations.

Despite this, many of the world’s buildings have finials that distinguish them from other structures. For example, early Asian pagodas featured finials with Buddhist themes.

Another excellent example of distinguishing finials can be seen throughout the streets of New Orleans. The fleur de lis symbol adorns many fencelines and buildings around the area due to this symbol’s connection to their French influences.

In fact, the fleur de lis is the official symbol of Louisiana.

Find the Perfect Wrought Iron Garden Gate for Sale at Amazing Gates!

Since 1997, Amazing Gates has been the industry’s leader in customized and standard gates and fencing. Whether you need a secure driveway entrance or a whimsical garden gate, we’ll help you find the design to perfectly complement your property’s needs and aesthetics.

We also provide powder coating services if you’re in the Albuquerque area. This durable coating can be applied to various objects such as signs, furniture, automotive parts, and so much more. We can even powder coat your wrought iron gates and fencing.

Contact us today to learn more about our wrought iron garden gates for sale!

Back to blog