Heritage 7 The Old Forge

No 7                                The Old Forge

There has been a forge on this plot of land since the early 19th century.  On the title map of 1841 the plot, including Forge Cottage, is described as “House, with blacksmiths shop and pightle ( a kind of field).  However the little square representing the smithy is not exactly where the present building is, so it is possible that the existing building came later.

Jonathan Cutts is identified as the blacksmith in the Trade Directories in in 1836 and 1841 and was succeeded by Mrs Cutts (presumably his widow) who inturn was succeeded by William Cutts (son?).  Perhaps Mrs Cutts took over the business until William was old enough.  Readers of ”Lark Rise to Candleford”will recall that there was a lady blacksmith in Candleford, but probably neither she nor Mrs Cutts did the shoeing.

William Cutts was succeeded by Robert Dunt, who was a blacksmith for about 40 years.  He was great-grandfather to Mr Ray Hazell who still lives in Shotesham.

The last entry for a blacksmith n the Trade Directories is in 1933- a Mr Kett.  There appears to have been no blacksmith since 1937 although the forge was occasionally used for ornamental ironwork.  The building was used for many years as a storeroom for Foulgers, the builders then opposite.  It is now being converted as part of a house, preserving as much as possible of the original timber work

Forge Cottage is a Grade II listed timber framed cottage built in the late 16th or early 17th century.  The cottage was originally the blacksmiths cottage and was sold as part of the break up of Shotesham Estate.