Handmade in Widecombe

icon_instagram icon_Twitter icon_Facebook Basket white small home icon

History of the Forge

forge22

The forge was built around 300 years ago, and is the original commercial forge that still exists  today. At one time a blacksmiths forge was something every village had as a necessity to every day life. The blacksmith would shoe the working farm and transport horses, and also make and repair tools and machinery. As the working horses declined with the introduction of tractors and motor cars, the need for blacksmiths became less. And so blacksmith forges all around the country rapidly disappeared. Today very few traditional working forges still remain.

Widecombe forge closed its doors to business as a blacksmith forge in 1955. The last blacksmith to operate from there was a farrier and blacksmith called Percy Prouse.

In 1964 the forge was purchased by a family of potters, who also owned a number of gift shops in the village. In the 1980's the forge was a museum for a time and was home to Tom Cobbleys chair famously know from Widecombe fair. Once the forge closed as a museum it became a gift shop through the 1990's,  then in 2000 it became a pottery workshop. Finally in 2008 the doors were closed once again.

 

Purchased in 2015 the forge was available to be restored and saved from another forge being lost like so many iconic buildings before it.

 

Modern day forges exist today no longer as a necessity, but as part of our heritage and by producing hand crafted items of a sort after nature.

forgeinthemoorlogowhite